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As gatherings go virtual, families and friends can help each other access health insurance
Salem, OR—Parents, grandparents, and concerned friends across Oregon: Use this year’s unorthodox virtual holiday gatherings to your advantage.

To help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, families and friends are encouraged to gather virtually this year. With access to the internet, and the ability to share screens, some individuals are seeing this as the perfect time to walk an uninsured person through signing up for health insurance.

“We are hearing that many Oregonians are getting really creative this year,” said Chiqui Flowers, administrator of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. “They’re planning to watch a movie on Teleparty and others may play trivia. Signing up for health insurance could be part of the mix. Please consider signing yourself up and also take advantage of these unique virtual gatherings to offer to help a loved one get insured by going to”

Consumers can peruse plans and find out how much of a subsidy they are eligible for by going to

Oregonians who do not get health insurance through their job or a program such as the Oregon Health Plan or Medicare can go to to see if they may qualify for help paying for 2021 coverage. Even if people are temporarily uninsured, they can sign up for help. The deadline to sign up to get health insurance for next year is Tuesday, Dec. 15.

“You can get help paying for health insurance based on your income,” said Flowers. “Don’t assume you make too much to be eligible.”

Individuals making up to $51,040 per year and families of four making up to $104,800 may get help paying for coverage. In 2020, more than seven in 10 Oregonians who chose plans through got financial help for monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs. These savings lowered the average premium to just $145 per month.

To apply, people should go to before Dec. 15 and answer a few Oregon-specific questions to get to the right application for them. Also, they can search the “get help” directory on the site to find an insurance agent or community partner organization that can help them complete the application and enroll. Insurance agents and community partners provide local, one-on-one assistance at no charge to the client. This help is available virtually and over the phone.


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, and a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS). For more information, go to

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Amy Coven

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