SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- The federal government is giving Oregon $226 million to finish creating an online marketplace where people can shop for health insurance.
The grant announced Thursday will help the health insurance exchange become fully operational. Cover Oregon, as the exchange is branded, will allow individuals and small businesses to compare health coverage options and access financial assistance under the federal health care overhaul.
The grant will cover expenses until the exchange is self-sustaining in 2015, including testing, training and the creation of a user-friendly website. It also will help pay for staffing at a call center.
Nearly all Americans will be required to have health insurance by next year. Every state is required have an exchange so small businesses and uninsured individuals have a place to buy coverage.