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Oregon Raises White Flag Over Its Health Exchange

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“Let me say this, nobody has to reenroll now. What we have to do in November, we’ve got to work out,” says Hamstreet. “It might be that some companies will have to do it and other’s won’t.”

He says November’s important because that’s when the enrollment window opens again, and he says, the system has to be working.

Oregonians may have other problems with the federal exchange. For example, five of the 16 health insurance companies currently doing business in the state don’t have the computer interface needed to work with the federal exchange.

So will they go to the expense of setting one up? Or will they stop doing business in Oregon? That’s unclear.

Also, navigators who’ve been trained to help people sign up for Cover Oregon will now have to be retrained for Healthcare.gov.

Meanwhile, cuts are being discussed for an as yet unspecified number of the 460 people employed at Oregon’s exchange, according to Hamstreet.

“Cover Oregon certainly is going to be around for 2014. We have a lot of work to do,” Hamstreet says. “Exactly what Cover Oregon is going to look like in 2015, I think is too early to say.”

This story is part of a partnership with NPR, Oregon Public Broadcasting and Kaiser Health News.

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Mon, Apr 28 2014

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