Too painful to watch it get worse, so the state abandons its health insurance scheme ('We're from the government and we're here to insure you.');
Cover Oregon closed one of the sorrier chapters in the history of Oregon state government Friday when it opted to dump its troubled $248 million health insurance exchange in favor of the federal exchange.
The federal exchange doesn't feature many of the bells and whistles Oregon officials had hoped to offer in their in-house system. But the federal exchange works and offers certainty that the Oregon exchange did not.There is some dispute on the amount Oregon has wasted up to this point, as other reports put it at over $300 million. What isn't disputed is that no one was able to enroll online;
The decision will impact both the existing Cover Oregon customers and its insurance carrier partners. More than 200,000 Oregonians have enrolled, most of them -- about 140,000 -- are Medicaid customers. Cover Oregon enrolled those customers using an alternative manual process it cobbled together after the state exchange proved non-functional.
Cover Oregon has 15 insurance company partners. Most of them already have built their own portals to the federal exchange. But some haven't and have poured considerable resources into customizing their own portal to Oregon's exchange -- the technology that will now be abandoned.With the loss borne by taxpayers.