The nation’s call centers are gearing up for a challenge of federal proportions: implementation of the healthcare exchanges mandated under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”). One of the most prominent features of the ACA is the development of new health insurance marketplaces called “exchanges,” that will enroll both private citizens and some businesses in health insurance coverage for the 2014 plan year beginning in October of this year.
The Affordable Care Act intended that states, with the help of federal grants, will develop and run their own exchanges. For states choosing not to do so, -- and so far this is about half the states -- the federal government will establish exchanges for those states’ residents.
Oregon, which is choosing to run its own exchange, is the latest state to announce the configuration of its health exchange call center. The state plans to open a call center in Salem, Oregon with 50 permanent jobs and 100 seasonal jobs. The facility is expected to open its doors beginning in May or June, with trained support personnel answering calls from Oregon citizens with questions about the provisions and options available with the state health exchange.
The state’s health exchange, which will be called “Cover Oregon,” was approved by the Legislature in 2011 to help implement federal health care legislation, according to an Associated Press article this week. The “Cover Oregon” call center will be headquartered in the Portland suburb of Durham where a staff of 70 is expected to grow to 100.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi