Oregon Scraps $303 Million Health Exchange

Friday, 25 Apr 2014 02:35 PM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

After months of trying to get its problem-plagued online health exchange to work, Oregon on Friday officially gave up on the state portal and decided to switch to the federal website — the first state in the nation to do so.

Cover Oregon's board approved an advisory committee's recommendation to ditch its troubled portal. Oregon will use HealthCare.Gov for private policies.

Officials say fixing the existing system would be too costly at $78 million and would take too long. Switching to the federal system would cost just $4 million to $6 million.

Oregon's exchange is seen as the worst in more than a dozen states that developed their own online health insurance marketplaces. The general public still can't use Cover Oregon's website to sign up for coverage in one sitting.

Instead, Oregonians must use a time-consuming hybrid paper-online process to sign up for insurance — despite $134 million the state paid Oracle to build the online exchange. Oregon received a monthlong enrollment-deadline extension because of the technology problems.

Several other states experienced major problems with their exchanges, but only one has chosen to replace its site. Maryland recently decided to adopt the technology used on Connecticut's successful exchange.

Federal officials said the federal exchange is able to add more states, and they are working with Oregon on the next steps.

In March, the federal Government Accountability Office announced an investigation of Oregon's exchange, including looking at whether the federal government can reclaim grant money given to Cover Oregon if taxpayer funds were mismanaged.

Separately, former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asked for an inspector general's probe into problems with the rollout of the health care law.

An independent investigation ordered by Gov. John Kitzhaber found state managers repeatedly failed to heed reports about technical problems that prevented the Cover Oregon exchange from launching. It also found Oracle did a shoddy job in building the exchange. Five Oregon officials connected to the development of the Cover Oregon portal have resigned.

Kitzhaber has insisted communications about the portal's troubles never reached him as the planned Oct. 1 launch neared. The governor said he agreed with the technology advisory committee's recommendation.

Officials said they will keep the Cover Oregon website, but it will be redesigned to direct people to the federal site. Oregon also will use the federal call center, but it will retain some front-end customer outreach, education efforts and initial carrier management.

Because HealthCare.Gov enrolls people only in private health plans, Oregonians found eligible for Medicaid will be redirected to the Oregon Health Authority, a state agency that can enroll them in the Oregon Health Plan, Oregon's version of Medicaid.

So far, about 242,000 Oregonians have enrolled in coverage through Cover Oregon. About 70,000 of those enrolled in private health plans, while 172,000 enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan.

Related Story:

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Obama Executive Order Gives Pay Raise to Federal Workers

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 22:36 PM

Federal workers and uniformed military service members are getting a 1 percent pay boost. . . .

Mental Illness History Ruled on Appeal to Not Bar Gun Ownership

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 22:14 PM

A federal appeals court concluded that a history of mental illness shouldn't bar citizens from owning a weapon in a firs . . .

China Arrests US Aid Worker on North Korean Border

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 21:56 PM

China has arrested an American Christian aid worker based near its border with North Korea, his lawyer said Saturday, as . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved