Oregon legislators consider reviving state-backed insurance exchange

Oregon officials are examining options to transition their state insurance marketplace away from the expensive government platform and utilizing their own software, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The state will pay the federal government $16 million in fees for the 2018 open enrollment period and up to $30 million in 2019. State officials are exploring whether acquiring its own technology might be cheaper and also offer them more control.

"The question is whether there is some alternative that would actually be cheaper, or at least competitive in price, that might also give Oregon flexibility," said Jesse O'Brien, policy director for the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group and a member of the exchange's Marketplace Advisory Committee, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Oregon is part of a group of states negotiating with CMS to gain greater flexibility and access to data from its exchanges. Nevada, like Oregon, performs much of the work operating its exchange, though it relies on federal software.

Officials from that state are attempting to purchase software from a third-party vendor in time for the 2020 enrollment period. If Nevada is successful, Oregon and other states may follow suit.

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