Oregon to Join the Federal Healthcare Exchange

The first Affordable Care Act (ACA) health exchange open enrollment period ended March 31, 2014.  States and others are now doing their own evaluations and “after action reports” in an effort to find out what went well and what did not. As of April 1, 2014, approximately 8 million people enrolled via the exchanges.  There are still some remaining questions such as how many have paid their premiums and what impact the young invincibles will have on premiums for the 2015 enrollment period.  Just under 30 percent of enrollees in the federal exchange are between 18-34. States are also taking stock of how the process went.  At least one state, Oregon, which opted for a state-based exchange, has decided to join the federal exchange after the state exchange website suffered technology problems during the recent enrollment period.  State officials said it would cost upwards of $78 million to fix the website and only $4-6 million to switch to the federal system. Three different investigations have been conducted or are underway to examine what went wrong.  These include investigations by Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and the Government Accountability Office and one larger investigation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General who is examining the roll-out of the ACA generally.

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