Oregon will likely become the first state to abandon its exchange for Healthcare.gov, following a recommendation from the state's technology committee. Cover Oregon's board of directors will make the final decision on Friday when the group formally presents their recommendation. During a meeting of the technology work group, interim chief information officer Alex Pettit recommended that the state leave the federal exchange and turn its resources towards Medicaid, the Statesman Journal reports.
The recommendation comes after Deloitte, the consulting firm hired to figure out the state's tech options, said in February that it would be faster and cheaper to abandon the state's exchange. It will cost $4 million to $6 million and five to eight months to move to the federal exchange, but at least $22 million to maybe fix CoverOregon.com by November 2015. Getting the exchange ready by November 15, 2014 — the start of the next open enrollment period — isn't possible. "Not all functionality can be completed by Nov. 15 and it exceeds our available resources," Pettit said.
This comes just one day after Cover Oregon lost yet another top official. Triz delaRosa, the site's chief operating officer submitted her resignation on Thursday, a month after Gov. John Kitzhaber asked for it, according to The Oregonian. In total, five top officials have left the site, which hasn't enrolled a single person in a private health plan.
KATU's Chelsea Kopta tweeted a few more details about the meeting: Pettit doesn't know what the timeline would be for the switch if the plan is approved, but the decision won't affect people who have already applied through the exchange or those who plan on applying before April 30, when the state's extended enrollment period ends. And while this is a blow to reputation of state-run exchanges, it shows how far the federal exchange has come. Only two states — Idaho and New Mexico — are launching their own exchanges this year, in part because Healthcare.gov isn't the most busted exchange in America. That honor goes to Cover Oregon, RIP.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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