Cover Oregon woes could mean delay; Gas prices down; Studded tires and Halloween hazards

Coast Radio News
Local News

30 October 2013

Cover Oregon woes could mean delays for Oregonians

Problems plaguing Oregon’s new health insurance exchange are leading to concerns that some of the most vulnerable Oregonians may face a break in coverage if they don’t enroll by a December 15 deadline.

A month in, the state has received just 4,260 paper applications and the Cover Oregon website still can’t tell people what subsidies they are eligible for.

The situation is dire for the 11,000 people in Oregon’s high risk insurance pool – a program for those who were denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. That program will dissolve by the end of the year.

Other Oregonians with private insurance could also see their current plans expire by the end of December.

Officials say they’re trying to resolve the problems. But they could not explain how they plan to enroll thousands of people within a short time span.

Studded tire season starting

Drivers in Oregon can put studded tires on their cars starting Friday.

Studded tires are legal November through March, but the Oregon Department of Transportation says they damage highways. ODOT encourages drivers to consider chains or traction tires without studs.  The department says studded tires are more effective than all-weather tires on icy roads, but less effective in most other conditions because they may reduce traction.

With the possibility of icy road conditions in most parts of Oregon still a ways off, officials say if drivers are going to switch to studs… they hope they hold off for a while.

Inexpensive gas

It may cost more for regular gasoline here than it does on average across the country.  But, Florence remains one of the less expensive spots in Oregon.

The average cash price for a gallon of regular in Florence dipped by a penny this week to $3.33…. that’s a nickel higher than the national average price.

However, it’s ten cents less than the Oregon average as measured by Triple-A.  Oregon’s average price declined by six cents in the past week and is expected to continue to fall gradually through the end of the year.

Halloween Hazards

Mark Wallace says there is always an increase in fire danger at this time of year.

He’s the Oregon State Fire Marshall and says the combination of candles; decorations, costumes and children can translate into more hazards… and more chance of injury and damage.

The statistics back him up.  Wallace says in the four day period between October 29th and November 1st over the past five years there have been 196 structure fires in Oregon.  Those fires led directly to one fatality; eight injuries; and more than $4.8-million in damage.

There are many safety tips he urges parents to be aware of, but probably the biggest one is to use battery powered lights instead of candles in your decorations or Jack O’Lantern.


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