Thousands of Oregon Residents May Qualify for Help Paying for Health Coverage, But Time is Running Out

Posted on November 30, 2018

Thousands of Oregonians may be leaving money on the table when it comes to financial help for health insurance. According to an analysis of census data, more than 100,000 Oregonians—including approximately 9,000 people in Clatsop, Columbia, Lincoln, and Tillamook counties—were estimated to be eligible for subsidies through HealthCare.gov in 2018, but did not enroll.

Oregonians who do not get health insurance through their job or a program such as the Oregon Health Plan or Medicare may for qualify help paying for 2019 coverage at HealthCare.gov, but only until Dec. 15. That’s the deadline to get health insurance for next year.

“The best way to find out if you qualify for financial assistance is to apply,” said Cameron Smith, director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services. “Don’t assume you make too much to be eligible.”

Individuals making about $48,000 or less per year, and families of four making about $100,000 or less, may get help paying for coverage. Last year, Oregonians who chose plans through HealthCare.gov got an average subsidy of $421 per month.

“People are often surprised by how high a family’s income can be and still get a subsidy to buy insurance at HealthCare.gov,” said Chiqui Flowers, administrator of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. The marketplace is a division of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services and is the state-level partner to HealthCare.gov.

To apply, go to OregonHealthCare.gov before Dec. 15 and answer a few Oregon-specific questions to get to the right application for them. Or you can search the “get help” directory on the site to find an insurance agent or community partner who can help you complete the application and enroll. Insurance agents and community partners provide local, one-on-one assistance at no charge to the client.

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The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace is the state-level partner to HealthCare.gov and a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS). For more information, go to OregonHealthCare.gov.

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