(Salem) – Oregonians affected by the wildfires can use the federal emergency declaration by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to take advantage of an exceptional circumstances special enrollment period (SEP). FEMA declared the Oregon wildfires a federal emergency on Sept. 15, 2020.

Oregonians will have up to 60 days from the end of the FEMA-designated incident period to select a new health insurance plan through HealthCare.gov or make changes to their existing health insurance plan. People who experienced a life change are eligible for a standard special enrollment period that allows them to sign up for a plan 60 days before or 60 days after their life change to enroll in a plan. Examples of a life change include loss of coverage due to loss of employment, marriage, addition of a new family member, gaining lawful immigration status, and moving homes.

Oregonians who were eligible for a standard special enrollment period, but missed this window due to the Oregon wildfires, can use the FEMA SEP to enroll in a plan. Applications are being accepted at HealthCare.gov if the life change is a loss in coverage and at 800-318-2596 (toll-free) for all other life changes.


The FEMA SEP due to the Oregon wildfires is available for people who qualified for a special enrollment period from Sept. 8 through up to 60 days after the FEMA emergency has ended. The declaration of emergency for the Oregon wildfires was issued Sept. 15, 2020, and is still active. Oregonians still have at the very earliest until Nov. 15, 2020 to use the FEMA SEP.