Report: US exchange cheapest fix for Cover Oregon

Cover Oregon hosted enrollment fairs Thursday, March 27 and Friday, March 28 (KOIN)
Cover Oregon hosted enrollment fairs Thursday, March 27 and Friday, March 28 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A report released Friday says connecting Oregon’s health insurance exchange to the federally run marketplace would be the least expensive fix for the glitch-filled system.

According to an analysis by Deloitte Development, it would take Cover Oregon five to eight months and $4 million to $6 million to link to HealthCare.gov, far below what it would take to correct existing problems with the online state exchange.

The exchange was supposed to allow individuals and small-business owners to buy insurance plans online, but it wasn’t ready to launch on Oct. 1 as planned. Oregon is the only state where the general public still can’t enroll online in health coverage in one sitting.

The report says fixing the existing website would cost $25.5 million to $57 million in development and maintenance costs just this year depending on whether Cover Oregon keeps or replaces its main technology contractor, Oracle Corp.

Whether or not Oracle is replaced, completely fixing the existing technology would take a year and a half to complete — meaning the website would only be partially finished for the next open enrollment that begins Nov. 15.

The state has already paid Oracle $134 million for the exchange and is withholding $26 million.

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