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Oregon Health Insurance Enrollment Shrinks 5 Percent

<p>An inside view of one of the exam rooms at Good Samaritan hospital in Northwest Portland. In recent months, they have seen an increase in the number of patients visiting&nbsp;their facility.&nbsp;</p>
<p>An inside view of one of the exam rooms at Good Samaritan hospital in Northwest Portland. In recent months, they have seen an increase in the number of patients visiting&nbsp;their facility.&nbsp;</p>

Insurance enrollment at Healthcare.gov has dropped more than five percent in Oregon.

It’s the first time health insurance enrollment has dropped in the state since the Affordable Care Act passed.

About 148,000 Oregonians signed up for coverage in 2019. That's 8,000 fewer than last year — or the equivalent of the population of Molalla.

The administrator of Oregon’s Health Insurance Marketplace, Chiqui Flowers said, they’re not focused on the drop.

“The Oregonians who signed up through HealthCare.gov confirm the value of this option for coverage and financial assistance,” said Flowers. “Oregon will continue to support health care consumers, helping them understand their options for affording quality coverage and assisting them with the enrollment process.”

Republicans mounted a concerted effort to overturn the Affordable Care Act last year but were unable to do so. Since then, President Donald Trump has worked to dismantle the law bit by bit. For example, people no longer face fines for not having health insurance.

Oregonians who enrolled in coverage during open enrollment must pay their premium when they receive their January bill in order to make the coverage effective.

Now that open enrollment has ended, most people will be able to buy 2019 individual and family coverage only when they have a major life change, such as getting married, having a baby or losing other coverage.

Copyright 2019 Oregon Public Broadcasting