Oregon is giving up on its state-run online health exchange and switching over to the federal website, making it the first state to make the jump, according to the Associated Press. Oregon's health exchange, known as Cover Oregon, has reportedly been plagued with issues and hasn't even been able to fully process new applications online — those enrolling have apparently still had to fill out paper forms as well. Fixing Cover Oregon reportedly would have cost a staggering $78 million, while transitioning over to Healthcare.gov will only cost between $4 million and $6 million.
Oregon reportedly paid $134 million for the site
Though Healthcare.gov was initially plagued with problems itself, the fact that it's been seen as the better option here goes to show just how far it's come. In giving up its own exchange, however, Oregon will lose some control over its broader policies, which will be set by the federal government. Cover Oregon's board reportedly made the decision to switch at a meeting this afternoon.
There's one other burgeoning option for troubled state exchanges: switching over to another state's working system. Connecticut has been actively marketing its successful system to states that haven't fared as well, and the AP reports that it recently got Maryland on board to adopt it. Oregon has already paid plenty though, having reportedly given $134 million to Oracle for creating its own exchange. Those in charge of managing the project are said to have ignored warnings about technical issues before launch, however — a seemingly recurring issue the US has had in setting up these exchanges.