Cover Oregon extends deadline for those who've signed up

PORTLAND, Ore. - If you've applied for insurance through Cover Oregon but have not enrolled in a plan, you now have more time, a spokesman of the troubled state exchange told KATU News Friday night.

The deadline for enrollment had been this coming Sunday but late Friday, Cover Oregon announced they are extending that deadline.

"People will now have until December 27th to enroll," spokesman Michael Cox told KATU. "This is for people who have already signed up for insurance that would go into effect on January 1st."

Meanwhile, the Oregon Health Authority says it will create a new program to ensure that some Oregonians with serious medical conditions don't lose their health care coverage because of problems with the state's insurance exchange.

Acting Director Tina Edlund announced the move on Friday under pressure from legislative leaders.

Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Tina Kotek were concerned people enrolled in the state's high-risk insurance pool will lose coverage because of a backlog of applications through the insurance exchange, called Cover Oregon.

The high-risk pool insures Oregonians who were denied coverage by private companies due to pre-existing conditions such as cancer. It serves about 11,000 people in Oregon and will dissolve by year's end.

People in the high-risk pool who don't have private coverage on Jan. 1 will be automatically enrolled in the state's temporary state plan.