Cover Oregon Says Website May Function by End of the Week

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Cover Oregon officials have informed agents and brokers that they may be able to start enrolling clients on the exchange website by the end of this week, if certain technical glitches can be fixed by then.

The Oregonian reported Tuesday that agents and brokers have reacted skeptically to the announcement.

“We’ve been down this road before,” said Rick Skayhan, a Portland agent with the firm Leonard Adams Insurance.

Cover Oregon officials had initially intended to do a “soft launch” of the site in October that would allow only agents and brokers to enroll customers online. But four months later, the website is still not functioning even to that limited extent.

The Oregonian posted the following email that was sent to agents and brokers on Monday night:

Dear Community Partners,

The Cover Oregon partner portal will be unavailable due to scheduled downtime starting this Friday, February 7  at 5:00pm. The partner portal will likely be down through next week so  that we can test upgrades to the system.

Here is what you can expect during this down time:

The enrollment deadline for March 1 coverage is February 15. For your  clients needing coverage effective March 1, please submit their  application as soon as possible this week while you have access to the  portal so we can make an eligibility determination.

The online  enrollment function, housed on our public site at CoverOregon.com, will  remain available while the partner portal is down.

In addition,  the online PDF application will continue to be available for new clients who need to submit an application. More information on the PDF is  available below.

We will contact you next Monday to give you an  update on how long the down time will last. We apologize for any  inconvenience this may cause for you and your clients.

Upgraded PDF Application

Open enrollment continues through March 31. Any new clients who need to  submit an application while the system is down can use the online PDF.

The online PDF application received a few updates. It is now compatible  with more web browsers and has been programmed so that people cannot  skip fields that are required for a completed application.

The  PDF now works for the most current versions of Internet Explorer (IE 9  or higher) and Safari for Mac users, which are the standard browsers for those systems. The PDF will not work with Google Chrome or Firefox.  Users of Chrome or Firefox will see a message recommending the browser  that works for their computer. Unless deleted, PC users will have  Internet Explorer and Mac users will have Safari available on their  desktops.

In  addition, the PDF has been upgraded to require 40  mandatory fields be completed before the user can submit an application. More information on the PDF is  available below. This will reduce the number of incomplete applications,  which will help us return determinations and allow people to enroll more quickly. This is a good option for people who have their information  gathered and are ready to apply and submit their request in one sitting.

Please note that this change applies only to the PDF application submitted  online. Users still have the option to download, print and mail or fax  their application.

Thank you for all you are doing to help Oregonians enroll in health care coverage.

Sincerely,
Cover Oregon