A report from Kaiser Health News suggests Cover Oregon’s website might be even worse than the much-maligned federal Obamacare site, as it’s failed to enroll a single person and has workers sifting through paper applications to determine applicants’ eligibility for benefits.
The Pacific Northwest state launched a glossy website and folksy ads to attract people to the site ahead of Oct. 1, but glitches have foiled their efforts even as state-run exchanges in places like Kentucky tout their successes.
Oregon’s troubles prompt instant comparisons to HealthCare.gov, the federal site that is supposed to process requests for coverage from 36 states but has been plagued by Web hiccups and may not work for the “vast majority” of users until the end of the month, according to the Obama administration.
Oregon residents seeking insurance are downloading paper applications off the website or letting someone walk them through the process, according to Kaiser Health News.
“We have on our website right now, a place where people who just want to wait, who just want do to it electronically, can give us their e-mail address, and we will e-mail them when the system is fully functional,” Cover Oregon spokeswoman Amy Fauver told Kaiser. “We also hear from a lot of people who are really chomping at the bit to get started. And they want to send in their paper application as soon as they can. Either way is fine with us.”
The Obama administration is hoping that Web glitches on the sites are fixed quickly, giving people time to enroll by mid-December for coverage that kicks in Jan. 1.
Overall, open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act lasts until March 31.