© 2023 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Oregon Health Insurance Deadline Extended

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber called the audit of Cover Oregon a ' sobering critique' of the state's health insurance exchange.
Office of the Governor
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber called the audit of Cover Oregon a ' sobering critique' of the state's health insurance exchange.

Oregonians who want to apply for insurance through the state's troubled health insurance exchange now have some more breathing room.

Governor John Kitzhaber announced Wednesday that the federal government has agreed to extend the deadline by one month.

People trying to sign up for private health insurance through Cover Oregon have been stymied by a website that still isn't fully functioning. That's left them vulnerable -- not only because they don't have health insurance, but because they could face federal fines for failing to enroll.

Last week Governor Kitzhaber announced a major turnover in top Cover Oregon officials in the wake of a scathing independent audit. Now, he says he’s worked with federal Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to give Oregonians another month before they face penalties.

The Cover Oregon board could decide next month whether to forge ahead with the failing system. Alternatives include piggy-backing on a successful state’s program like Idaho’s, or using the federal government's version of the system.

Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.