Navigating 2024 Open Enrollment with Project Access NOW in Portland, OR

Navigating 2024 Open Enrollment with Project Access NOW in Portland, OR

Feb 29, 2024

Since the enactment of the federal Affordable Care Act in 2010, millions of Americans have sought health insurance coverage during the annual Open Enrollment Period every year. Project Access NOW (PANOW) assists individuals in the Portland, OR metro area in navigating this process, and this year was as busy as ever! Our team had thousands of assistance interactions with clients, which you can learn more about below.

What is Open Enrollment?

The federal government mandates that individuals who wish to enroll in a health insurance plan on the Marketplace ( may only do so during the Open Enrollment Period every year (unless they have what’s referred to as a “Qualifying Life Event”, such as losing employer-sponsored coverage or moving to a new area). This period usually occurs sometime around the last 2 months of the year, with slight shifts in duration each year. Enrollment numbers during this period have been steadily rising since the creation of the federal Marketplace, with a historic 21 million individuals enrolled this year. For individuals wishing to seek coverage for plan year 2024, the Open Enrollment Period began on November 1st, 2023 and ended on January 15th, 2024.

What does PANOW do during Open Enrollment?

Open Enrollment is always a very busy time for Project Access NOW, especially for our Insurance Enrollment and Payment Support team. Our assisters help hundreds of individuals navigate the insurance enrollment process, whether it be via the Marketplace, the Oregon Health Plan (OHP), or one of PANOW’s internal programs. For individuals who are enrolling in a Marketplace plan but can’t afford their monthly premium, our team screens for eligibility for PANOW’s Payment Support program that offers to pay the full cost of monthly premiums for enrollees who qualify. Some folks may also qualify for our Donated Care program, which connects uninsured individuals with primary and specialty providers willing to see them on a donated basis.  

Open Enrollment This Year at PANOW

Over 145,000 Oregonians enrolled in health insurance coverage this year during Open Enrollment, and the team at PANOW was even busier than normal! We worked with new referring partners and saw an increase in enrollments, started using a new booking system for enrollment assistance appointments, and solidified new internal workflows that made our processes more efficient. You can find some notable data points below.

The team completed:

281 OHP Applications for 636 total applicants, a 74% increase over last year.

149 Marketplace Applications for 198 total applicants, a 23% increase over last year.

580 Enrollments in our Payment Support program, a 51% increase over last year.

2,436 total Client Navigations (a “Navigation” is a touch-point with a client)

Looking Forward

PANOW is already getting prepared for next year’s Open Enrollment period. In the meantime, if you or someone you know needs assistance getting enrolled in a health insurance plan, please contact our IEPS team using the following contact information:

Call/Fax: (503) 345-7031


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