Cover Oregon Close to Hitting Revised Low Target for QHP Enrollment

Bruce Goldberg

Bruce Goldberg

There is no shortage of bad news for Cover Oregon these days: its website still isn’t working; Dr. Bruce Goldberg, its acting director, has resigned; and it’s still not clear whether its board will choose to scrap the project altogether and join the federal exchange.

But despite all its troubles, the exchange is close to hitting its enrollment targets (albeit, its revised, low enrollment target).

Goldberg reported to Cover Oregon’s board last Thursday that the exchange had enrolled 217,413 individuals into coverage.

By that time, 154,088 people had enrolled in Medicaid, and 63,325 individuals had enrolled in qualified health plans (QHPs).

That means Cover Oregon is about 1,000 applications away from hitting its low enrollment target of enrolling 64,400 individuals into QHPs by time the exchange’s extended open enrollment period closes at the end of April.

There’s no doubt that Cover Oregon will exceed that target: Goldberg told the board the exchange is close to receiving a total of 300,000 applications, and receives between 1,200 and 1,500 applications each day.

There are 10,000 applications the exchange has received by not processed. Nearly three quarters of those, Goldberg said, have been received within the last week, and he described them as “complex applications” because of particular family situations.

“A month ago, it was a number closer to thirty thousand,” Goldberg said. “We’re fairly confident we’ll get through the remaining applications in the next couple weeks.”

Additionally, there are 60,000 people who have been determined eligible for coverage, but have not yet selected a plan and completed their application.

Goldberg also said there has been a “slight uptick” in the proportion of QHP enrollees who are between the ages of 19 and 34, from 19 percent of 21 percent.

Cover Oregon’s enrollment numbers were revised earlier this year when it became clear the exchange’s website would not go online during open enrollment, which has affected consumers’ confidence and willingness to enroll through the exchange.

Oregon has consistently ranked in the middle of states in terms of QHP enrollment.