Sweet Home man fears Cover Oregon breach


by KGW Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @KGWNews


Posted on November 27, 2013 at 7:23 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 27 at 8:17 AM

SWEET HOME, OR--After recent reports of security problems with Cover Oregon application forms, at least one frustrated applicant is concerned his personal information might be compromised.

The Cover Oregon application process for Sweet Home resident Jeff Goodwin has been anything but a treat.

"'Frustrated' I think is the word [I would use], because this is something that my family needs," said Goodwin, a father of four. The way he sees it, the health of his family is in jeopardy.

"The website doesn't work. You try the online application, doesn't work. So I mailed the thing," Goodwin said.

That was early November, and then last week Goodwin received a phone call from a person claiming to be with the Department of Health Services.

"They started asking me for confidential information and that made me really nervous," Goodwin said. "I have no way of knowing if this person is from DHS. It could be anyone calling me."

More: Gov. says that security problems with Cover Oregon are fixed

He refused to give his information out. Goodwin worried his identity might be compromised much like three others in Oregon who enrolled in Cover Oregon only to have their personal information mailed out to total strangers.

Governor John Kitzhaber said in a statement Tuesday that the Oregon Health Authority and Cover Oregon had been reorganized to stop security breaches from happening.

"Friday, we fundamentally changed that process," Kitzhaber said. "We put Bruce Goldberg exclusively in charge of managing the paper application process. He has authority over both resources and personnel at Oregon Health Authority and Cover Oregon."

Cover Oregon officials also stated that when they received incomplete applications they would no longer send them back, but call applicants to complete the forms over the phone.

Back in Sweet Home, it took a phone call by KGW to finally get Jeff Goodwin some answers. Cover Oregon confirmed that the person calling him was in fact from Cover Oregon, even if that's not how they identified themselves.

It all has left Goodwin with a bitter taste in his mouth.

"I've got serious questions about whether it's going to come through at all," said Goodwin about the insurance application.

Cover Oregon said that if there's a question with an application, residents should expect a phone call back.

If you are not comfortable with providing missing information on their application you can:

  • Ask that the information be verified or completed through the mail
  • Call the Cover Oregon service center at 1-855-CoverOR to verify that the person who called is who they say they are.

More: Complete health care reform coverage


Abbey Gibb, Ashley Korslien and Cornelius Swart contributed to this report.