Oregon Dissolves Troubled Health Exchange


Oregon voters have seen a wave of new changes in government since the start of 2015, including a new governor who has been quick to start making change.

The latest of those changes came on Friday, as Governor Kate Brown signed a bill to dissolve Oregon’s troubled health insurance marketplace. As CivSource previously reported, the state and its residents had been caught up in a multi-million dollar fiasco with Oracle. The company was tasked with building the marketplace which never fully launched and required paper-based application drives to get people insured.

State lawmakers successfully passed a bipartisan measure last week that will effectively dismantle the quasi-corporate entity Cover Oregon and fold its responsibilities into the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services. The Governor signed the bill on Friday.

Currently, Oregonians can apply for health insurance via the federal exchange. That process was established last year after the state took its marketplace offline. Oregon has paid Oracle tens of millions of dollars for its failed marketplace, and has been called “perhaps the worst disaster zone in Obamacare’s implementation.”

A handful of other states including Massachusetts and Vermont have had similar difficulties with their insurance marketplaces after technology vendors failed to deliver. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker recently made significant changes to the Mass Health Connector board with the start of his new administration, those changes included the resignation of one of the chief architects of the ACA law MIT professor Jonathan Gruber.