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Nearly 141,000 Oregonians chose health plans for 2021 through HealthCare.gov, according to initial data from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.

“This year has thrown Oregonians a curve ball with the COVID-19 pandemic and devastating wildfires,” said Chiqui Flowers, administrator of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. “The Marketplace will continue to support Oregonians by helping them understand their health coverage options, finding affordable and quality coverage for their family, and connecting them to local experts for direct enrollment assistance.”

The preliminary enrollment total is down 3% compared to the end of open enrollment for 2020 coverage. A number of factors have influenced enrollment this year, including more Oregonians qualifying for and remaining enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan due to COVID-19, Flowers said.

People who chose coverage during open enrollment, whether through HealthCare.gov or directly from an insurance company, must pay their premium when they receive their January bill in order to make their coverage effective.

Open enrollment ended Dec. 15, which means most people will be able to buy coverage for 2021 only if they have experienced a qualifying life event, like a loss of coverage, moving, or another change to the household. American Indians and Alaska Natives living in Oregon can enroll in coverage anytime throughout the year.

The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, a part of state government, helps people get health insurance when they do not have job-based coverage, and do not qualify for the Oregon Health Plan or another program. The Marketplace is the state-level partner to HealthCare.gov, and a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS). For more information visit www.OregonHealthCare.gov.