PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — With its troubled health insurance exchange portal still not working, Cover Oregon says it has suspended its optimistic, feel-good advertising campaign after spending more than $8 million on it this year.
The exchange’s television, radio and newspaper ads have been pulled, Cover Oregon spokesman Michael Cox said on Thursday, while the “Long Live Oregonians” billboards will come down as payment expires.
In one of the TV ads, folk singer Laura Gibson sings chirpily that Oregon’s spirit is “to care for each one, each daughter and son.”
But the launch of Cover Oregon didn’t live up to the ad campaign’s optimism.
Three months after it was supposed to go live, Oregon’s exchange is yet to launch and the state has had to rely exclusively on paper applications. Cover Oregon hired more than 400 workers to process the applications manually.
An estimated 36,000 Oregonians have thus far enrolled through Cover Oregon, including about 12,000 in private health insurance and about 24,000 in the Oregon Health Plan. Thousands of others have been determined eligible for health coverage starting Jan. 1, but have still not enrolled.