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400 New Workers To Help Cover Oregon, Not 100

Just one week after the governor announced that Oregon's new health insurance exchange would hire 100 temporary workers to process paper applications, that number has been increased to 400 workers.

Because of problems with the website, Cover Oregon is asking people to go ahead and apply for health insurance using the paper application.

Spokeswoman Amy Fauver says the staffing increase comes as they figure out how many applications one person can process in a day and how many applications Cover Oregon hopes to receive.

"People really need to not wait any longer," she said. "They need to go on to , fill out the application, print it out, fax it in or submit it electronically. First of all it helps us manage the volume, so that we make sure that we have the right resourses on hand."

Fauver says the cost of the new hires will amount to about $4 million by mid-December -- a sum Cover Oregon already has.

The website has yet to enroll anybody. But more than 70,000 have been enrolled onto the Oregon Health Plan via mail.

About 560,000 people lack health insurance in Oregon.

Copyright 2013 Oregon Public Broadcasting