Let's review some key deadlines:
- December 15, 2013 is the deadline to complete enrollment at Cover Oregon.
- By January 1, 2014, you must have health insurance, or face a penalty, but you are allowed to have a gap in coverage no longer than three consecutive months, so ...
- March 31, 2004 is the drop-dead date for having coverage without having to pay a fine.
Something I've never heard anyone mention is that if you don't have coverage by March 31, there is really no point in buying insurance until January 1 of the next year. You will have to pay the penalty for not having insurance. So, what's the point of buying something that you already paid a penalty for not buying?
What is "enrollment complete?"On OPB's Think Out Loud, Cover Oregon staff explained what you have to do to "complete" enrollment ... And it's more than just clicking some buttons on a website (start listening around 14:10):
We need to have the enrollment complete by December 15. And the "enrollment complete by December 15" means that we have received their application and sent them out an enrollment packet and then received that enrollment packet back.
So, there are three big steps:
- Send in an ObamaCare application,
- Have Cover Oregon approve the application and send back an enrollment packet to you, and
- Pick a plan, sign the packet, and send it back to Cover Oregon.
Can Cover Oregon handle the load?Keep in mind that Cover Oregon has signed up exactly zero people for ObamaCare.
Add to that the 150,000 Oregonians who have received cancellation notices, the 11,000 in Oregon's soon-to-be closed high risk pool, and the backlog of 12,000 paper applications. You're looking at a minimum of 173,000 applications that must be processed in the next 30 days.
Keep in mind, too ...
If you want to fill out your ObamaCare application on the Cover Oregon website, you must use Internet Explorer (which only 24 percent of Internet users use anymore).
Oh, and if you want to fax in your application (does anyone fax anymore?), according to the OPB interview, Cover Oregon has only one fax line.
As a matter of perspective, that means Cover Oregon must process about 240 applications every hour of every day (yes, that means 24/7) for the next month.
I'm not saying it can't be done, but it sure seems like a near-impossible task.