Oregon Signs Up More for Health Care without State Marketplace - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Oregon Signs Up More for Health Care without State Marketplace

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PORTLAND, OR - Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber says the state has commissioned an independent review of what went wrong with Oregon's troubled health insurance exchange.

Kitzhaber says a firm has been hired to find out why the Cover Oregon online enrollment system still doesn't work more than three months after it was supposed to launch.

Kitzhaber says he's unsure when Cover Oregon's automated enrollment system will work.

The newest figures this week show that about 20,000 people have enrolled in private insurance for January coverage. That's far below the state's original projections. 

More than 35,000 Oregonians who applied through Cover Oregon have joined the Oregon Health Plan, the state's version of Medicaid.

More than 114,000 people enrolled directly in the state health plan by using a streamlined process that bypasses Cover Oregon.

The state has blamed the low private insurance enrollment numbers on the online system's failure to go live. People in Oregon have had to rely on paper applications.

Cover Oregon had to hire or reassign nearly 500 people to process those applications by hand.

Overall, Kitzhaber says 170,000 people gained health coverage this month, reducing Oregon's uninsured population by 20%