Oregon’s troubled health insurance exchange is falling apart

Officials with Oregon’s troubled health insurance exchange say they’ve narrowed the options for the site’s future to two: switching to the federal exchange, or staying with the current technology and hiring a new contractor to fix it. Cover Oregon’s interim chief information officer, Alex Pettit, told board members Thursday that a third option – transferring technology from another state – would be too expensive and take too long.

I live in Washington state, which had one of the cleaner Affordable Care Act website implementations in the country. I had insurance in literally less than 10 minutes, and an ID card in the mail a week later. There were stumbles, but living on the border with Oregon—and being subject to its public radio network—really puts those stumbles in perspective. Last fall, as states (and the feds) around the country sweated and pleaded for patience, the governer of Oregon was only petulant, saying simply that the site didn’t work and that he had no idea when it would work. That’s about it, and on top of things, Cover Oregon, the state agency in charge of the insurance exchange and its rollout, has largely kept quiet about the problems and how they might in the future be resolved. Right now, the state has only the slightest promise of resolution at all. 

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