TIME Healthcare

Oregon Dropping Health Exchange in Favor of Federal Marketplace

John Kitzhaber
Kobbi R. Blair—AP Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber looks on during a news conference on March 20, 2014, in Salem, Ore. Kitzhaber announced that an independent review of Oregon's troubled health insurance exchange has found that a breakdown of management, an overly ambitious scope, and low quality of work by technology contractor Oracle Corp. are some of the reasons for Cover Oregon's failed launch.

The Oregon health exchange is seen as the worst of the more than one dozen state-run exchanges, and fed up officials recommended dumping it after it was determined that fixing the state's current system would cost $78 million

Oregon is abandoning its troubled online health exchange in favor of the federal website, becoming the first state to do so.

Cover Oregon’s board approved Friday a recommendation that the state switch. The vote came after it was determined that fixing the state’s current system would cost $78 million, while switching to the federal system will cost between $6 million and $8 million, Cover Oregon official Alex Pettit told the AP.

Oregon’s system isn’t yet fully functional seven months after its launch; residents remain unable to sign up for coverage in one sitting. Oregonians received a one-month signup extension due to problems with the site.

Oregon, once considered to be at the forefront of the federal health care overhaul, created what is seen as the worst of more than a dozen state-generated exchanges, despite receiving $305 million in federal grants to fund its operations from 2011 on.


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