October 3, 2013 — With the main parts of the Affordable Care Act now going into effect, OSPIRG has launched a statewide education campaign reaching out to students with facts about the changes, and tips to help them find the right coverage for themselves.
“Students have lots of questions about health insurance,” said Nate Powers, an OSPIRG student at Portland State University, “that’s why we’re sharing these tips to help students find good insurance that won’t break the bank.”
At events across the state launching the project, OSPIRG released the new guide, So You Need Health Insurance. Now What? Oregon Health Insurance 101. At Portland State, OSPIRG students were directing fellow students to the online resource from a booth on campus.
“Many of us are uninsured, or will lose our current coverage pretty soon, but don’t know what to do next,” said Powers. “We’ll lose our family coverage when we turn 26, or we’ll graduate and have to get off the student health plan. We need facts and information so we can make good decisions.”
Beginning January 1, 2014, most Americans will be required to have insurance coverage or pay a fee. On October 1, Cover Oregon opened for Oregonians looking for health insurance. By visiting Cover Oregon’s website at www.coveroregon.com, consumers can compare different insurance plans apples to apples, and find out about financial help they may qualify for to help lower their premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
Powers is concerned about getting health insurance after graduation and looking forward to checking out the options at Cover Oregon. “It will be good to be able to go to one website and look at all my options, and find out about what financial help I might get,” he said
OSPIRG’s top tips for students include:
1. Look into ongoing options such as staying on your parents’ plan until you turn 26, or enrolling in the student health plan.
2. Check out new options at Cover Oregon online at www.coveroregon.com or by phone at 1-855-268-3767. Plans listed there cover preventive care, hospitalizations, office visits, prescriptions and more.
3. Find out about financial help that’s available when you apply at Cover Oregon.
4. Compare plans side-by-side, in plain language at Cover Oregon.
5. Don’t let insurance companies turn you away if you have a pre-existing condition.
6. Get expert help comparing insurance plans and signing up online, by phone or in-person. Connect with specially trained people who can help you at Cover Oregon.
7. Find out more in the online guide, So, You Need Health Insurance. Now What? Oregon Health Insurance 101, at https://ospirgstudents.org/resources/or/so-you-need-health-insurance-now-what
8. Get involved in the campaign as a volunteer or intern to help get the word out on campus. Find out more at ospirgstudents.org/internships.