Cover Oregon, the state’s troubled health insurance exchange, can’t get a break. Officials had hoped the U.S. Health and Human Services Department would give Oregon an extension on the open enrollment period, which closes at the end of March. The Salem Statesman-Journal reports HHS says it doesn’t have the authority to do it. Even so, Cover Oregon spokesman Michael Cox says the state is still hopeful it will be granted. Cover Oregon has been plagued with technology problems since its launch last year.
Oregon is tied for dead last with West Virginia in the percentage of young enrollees in the health insurance program. Just 18 percent of the nearly 31,000 people enrolled are between the ages of 18 and 34, compared with a national average of 25 percent.