In the latest disaster for Cover Oregon, that state's own health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act, it has now somehow managed to sign up one of the state two U.S. senators, Jeff Merkley (D), into Medicaid for low-income residents.
"It must have been about half a year after I was on (private insurance) we suddenly got a mailing that said 'Congratulations, you're enrolled!'" Merkley recalled. "And I was like, 'What? You're crazy.'"
The error by the exchange and the Oregon Health Authority, which oversees the health plan, is significant not only because it involves a sitting U.S. senator. It appears to also reveal a new type of enrollment glitch: not just an erroneous enrollment or miscalculation of benefit, but a double enrollment of someone who clearly was ineligible for Oregon's version of Medicaid. [The Oregonian]
Merkley enrolled himself in private insurance via the Oregon exchange, rather than using the exchange in Washington, D.C., through which he could have gotten a large employer subsidy as a member of Congress. "I wanted to have the same experience that Oregonians were having, to see what this was about," Merkley told the paper.
Cover Oregon has been an infamous boondoggle, with many legislators of both parties now wanting to abolish it and start over.