Cover Oregon health insurance exchange now open

Many more people in Oregon can now get health insurance, even if they already have a health condition. Beginning Oct. 1, individuals, families and small businesses now can sign up for medical and dental insurance through Cover Oregon, and access financial help to make it more affordable. Cover Oregon is not health insurance. It is a “marketplace” that offers health insurance options. It includes both commercial insurance plans and public medical programs such as Oregon Health Plan and Healthy Kids.

Here’s how it works: People can select several plans, which are combinations of services at different prices. They can read clear information about what each plan offers and how much it costs. Then they compare them and sign up for the best one. Applying for financial savings is an easy part of the process and is available only through Cover Oregon. And you can find assistance to apply and enroll in coverage in many different languages, including Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified and Traditional Chinese. Later in October people will be able to shop for plans and sign themselves up online at

As part of the new Federal health care law, everyone is required to sign up for health insurance or pay a penalty. Signing up through Cover Oregon takes care of this requirement. For people who sign up by Dec. 15, insurance will start to pay for medical and dental costs on Jan. 1, 2014.

Cover Oregon has many certified health insurance agents and community partners across the state to help people sign up. This help is free, and available in many different languages. To find an agent or partner, visit or call 1-855-CoverOR (1-855-268-3767). Bilingual staff and translation services are available. Always be sure to work with a certified agent or partner to avoid fraud.