Oregon Officially Scraps State Exchange Site for HealthCare.gov

The board overseeing Oregon's health insurance exchange voted Friday to abandon the glitch-ridden state-run exchange site in favor of relying on HealthCare.gov, according to a Kaiser Health News report. 

The decision follows a recommendation from the Cover Oregon technology options workgroup to use the federal health insurance exchange technology to enroll people in private health plans. The state has spent at least $134 million on its exchange site. It spent another $7 million processing paper applications after the contractor, Oracle Corp., was unable to repair the site's technical problems.

Switching to the federal exchange could have some negative consequences, according to the report. Five of the 16 health insurers currently operating in the state don't have the computer interface necessary to work with HealthCare.gov, and it's unclear whether they will invest in becoming compatible with the federal site or stop offering policies in Oregon.

In March, the Government Accountability Office announced it would launch an investigation into the flawed Oregon exchange, at the request of Republican members of Congress. Oregon is not the only state to experience technical problems with its exchange — Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada and Hawaii have also had trouble. Oregon is the first to abandon its flawed exchange for HealthCare.gov.

Still, most state-based health insurance exchanges have been successful, with several (Vermont, Connecticut and the District of Columbia) exceeding projected 2014 enrollment by March 1, according to a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute.

More Articles on Health Insurance Exchanges:
Oregon Could Switch From State-Run Exchange to HealthCare.gov
5 State-Based PPACA Exchanges With Enrollment Problems
Oregon Congressman Seeks to Extend Enrollment for State-Based Exchanges 


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