Cover Oregon has hired more people to help process nearly 30,000 applications for health insurance. The deadline for enrollment has been pushed by to December 27th for the applicants who have received their forms.
Since December 4th, 13,374 people have been signed up for the Oregon Health Plan and 7,500 people have been enrolled in private insurance. Over the last week, the number of people enrolled in private insurance increased over 6,000 and that number is expected to grow as more applications are processed.
Acting Director of Cover Oregon Bruce Goldberg says they are trying to process all of the applications by the deadline. Half of the applications have mistakes and those that have not been corrected will not have insurance by January 1, 2014. Goldberg says those people should by private insurance if it's critical for January 1.
Goldberg says they still don't have a date for when the website will be working. They are hiring two outside experts in writing code for websites to review the work that's being done by Oracle.
The state is withholding $18 million to $20 million in payments to Oracle until the website is working. Goldberg says the state is considering going after Oracle for the costs of hiring people to process paper applications. That has cost at least $4 million. Governor John Kitzhaber has called for a full investigation going back to the process used to select Oracle as the contractor to build the website.