State representatives last week approved a measure aimed at helping those impacted by the problems with the rollout of Cover Oregon.

“We can all agree that Oregonians and small businesses should be held harmless by the problems we’ve seen with the Cover Oregon rollout,” said Rep. Shemia Fagan (D–Clackamas/East Portland), chief sponsor of House Bill 4154. “This bill helps more Oregonians get affordable health coverage, and it helps individuals and small businesses get the tax relief they are due.”

While the number of Oregonians signed up for more affordable coverage continues to grow, thousands of Oregonians have signed up for health insurance by going around the exchange and directly to private insurers because of technical problems with the website. HB 4154 pushes for Oregonians in this situation to receive the tax help they deserve by directing the Cover Oregon board to seek federal insurance subsidies.

HB 4154 also pushes to extend the individual enrollment deadline by a month in order to increase enrollment numbers and to secure tax credits for small businesses eligible for the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). In addition, HB 4154 would extend existing whistleblower protections to employees of Cover Oregon and allow the governor to remove the entire Cover Oregon board of directors in a single year.

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