Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Cover Oregon, the new health insurance marketplace, kicks off in October and Clatsop County citizens will have a local agent to help them navigate the new program.

Cover Oregon is the state's new online marketplace where Oregonians can shop for health insurance, choose from different health insurance companies  to find plans that will fit their needs and budget, and access savings to help pay for coverage. Open enrollment starts in October, and more Oregonians can now get health insurance even if they already have a health condition.

To help Oregon individuals and families enroll in health insurance through Cover Oregon, the Oregon Health Authority awarded grants to local governments and community organizations. The Clatsop County Public Health Department received a grant and is certified to help county resident enroll in coverage.

Judi Mahoney, an outreach coordinator with the county Public Health Department, is a certified enrollment assistance agent and can help county residents find health insurance through Cover Oregon.  She is available to work with individuals, families and owners of businesses with fewer than 50 employees. All enrollment assistance is provided at no cost. Spanish-language assistance is also available. In the past, Mahoney has also worked as the county's outreach specialist for the Oregon Healthy Kids program.

Mahoney can be reached by phone at (503) 358-2333 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . People can also call a special appointment line at the county Public Health office at (503) 338-3684.

Coastal Family Health Center in Astoria is also a certified Cover Oregon assistance provider. Call (503) 741-8035 to find out more.

Cover Oregon is designed to provide an easily accessible venue for Oregonians to compare various health insurance options side-by-side, whether they currently have no coverage or are simply interested in checking out alternatives. The program also provides information financial assistance offered to help people afford coverage.

Enrollment is set to begin Oct. 1 – online enrollment will be available in the near future, but initially all sign-ups will need to go through a local community agent like Mahoney or Coastal Family Health Center.

Dec. 15 is the deadline to sign up in order to have coverage begin Jan. 1, 2014.

More information is available at www.coveroregon.com or by calling toll-free 1-855-CoverOR.

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