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Cover Oregon Won't Be Fully Accessible by Oct. 1

By Kathleen Doheny
WebMD Health News

Reviewed by Lisa Zamosky

Aug. 14, 2013 -- Cover Oregon, the state's new health insurance Marketplace, will launch on schedule Oct. 1, but consumers will not be able to access it directly without help, according to state officials.

At first, trained insurance agents and community partners will help people in the process, says Lisa Morawski, a Cover Oregon spokesperson.

"We don't see this as a delay," she says. "Our online portal will be ready Oct. 1, and agents and community partners will be using the portal to enroll Oregonians."

"We are taking this approach to our rollout because we think it will help make the customer experience as seamless as possible," she says.

According to a news release from Cover Oregon, direct access to the online sign-up will occur ''later in October.'' There is no exact date yet, Morawski says.

The agents or community partners, including tribal organizations, providing help have been certified with Cover Oregon. Customers will receive help to compare plans, apply for financial aid, and enroll in the plans, which take effect Jan. 1, 2014.

Oregon is one of 16 states plus Washington, D.C., running their own state-based Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act.

Seven states are planning partnership Marketplaces with the federal government, while 27 are defaulting to a federally run Marketplace.

Go to Cover Oregon for more information.

SOURCES: Lisa Morawski, spokesperson, Cover Oregon. News release, Cover Oregon.

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