Many young adults not signing up for Cover Oregon health insurance

, Posted in Local, Politics, Economy, Health, Posted: Wed, March 12 2014 at 5:34 PM, Updated: Wed, March 12 2014 at 7:51 PM

Medford, Ore. -- Oregon gets a failing grade for getting young adults signed up for health insurance as part of the Affordable Care Act. That's according to a new report released by the Department of Health and Human resources.

Oregon ties with West Virginia as the nation's worst states for signing up people ages 18 to 34.

There are many speculations as to why younger people aren't signing up, from the problems with the state's exchange, to not being able to self enroll in a single sitting, but some say they just don't need it. 24-year-old Matthew Parrish is one of those people he's is a student at the Rogue Community College.

Parrish said "I believe that that age group has more of an understanding of the way that the world is working these days."

A mere 18% of people aged 18-34 have enrolled in the Oregon exchange since it's opening October 1st.

Cover Oregon has gone out of it's way to attract the young, spending millions on television and radio ads. But right now they aren't even close to the national goal of about 40%. Many we spoke with say it comes down to affordability. Cover Oregon spokesperson Michael Cox says that should not be an issue.

Cox said "there's a lot of confusion right now in Oregon about a persons ability to apply and enroll with cover Oregon. We have some of the lowest premium rates in the country."

For Matthew Parrish it's not the premiums or the ease, but his own idea that his body can simply take care of itself. Parrish said "I feel that my body is fully capable of fighting any infection or disease that can affect my personal well being."

Massachusetts took the top spot for the most enrolled in the 18-34 age range.

The deadline enrollment is now just about 2 weeks away.  Cover Oregon officials have suggested the federal government might extend the March 31st deadline, but no extension has been announced yet.

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