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Congress grills states over health insurance

Congress grills states over health insurance

A congressional committee questioned representatives from several states about the health insurance exchanges they were given federal money to create.

Greg Van Pelt is Governor John Kitzhaber's advisor on Cover Oregon. He said "While the launch of the ACA (Affordable Care Act) had been different than we hoped, over 300,000 individuals had enrolled in health insurance plans." Most of those people were automatically signed up through the Oregon Health Plan. 59,000 people have signed up through private insurance companies.

Van Pelt was asked whether Cover Oregon was financially viable and he said "The target is sustainable at the level we have enrolled and the projections going forward." But, he also said they would have to make cuts to expenses to match the revenue generated by each person signed up for insurance.

Oregon is the only state where people can't sign up for insurance online, so it must be done with the assistance of an insurance agent. Cover Oregon has not said whether the website will work. There have been suggestions by some that Oregon stop the work and convert to the national exchange. Some members of the committee called on other states to repay the federal dollars if they received money back from companies that botched the launch.

 

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