Oregon Health Insurance Exchange Closes
Cover Oregon, the state’s bungled health insurance exchange, is being closed with bipartisan support. The Oregon Senate voted 42-14 last month on a bill to kill the site. The measure was signed by Governor Kate Brown, which transfers responsibilities for the Oregon exchange to the state Department of Consumer and Business Services.
Last spring, state officials announced their intent of shuttering the website after a number of technical problems. Problems persisted from the get go. No one was ever able to enroll in a private plan under the Affordable Care Act, so paper documents had to be filed. Cover Oregon has been using HealthCare.gov to sign up Oregonian for coverage since the start of the second open-enrollment period.
The state, which was given $305 million by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create the site, hired Oracle to do the job. The ensuing debacle has led to both side suing the other for breach of contract.
HHS gave Oregon $305 million to create the site, federal records show. Oregon and Oracle Corp., which created the site, are suing each other over the botched rollout. Each is accusing the other of breach of contract. The state is seeking $5.5 billion in damages, while Oracle is seeking $23 million.
Oracle is accusing the state of Oregon of copyright infringement and breach of contract, while the state is accusing Oracle executives of corruption, at a time when governor John Kitzhaber has resigned over corruption accusations of his own.
Oracle was denied its preference of having their case heard in federal court, so the lawsuits will proceed separately at the state and federal levels.
Recent estimates have the Oregon exchange cost to the state at $310 million, and is expected to rise.