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Oregon hires firm to link to federal health site

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 1, 2014 at 6:06 pm •  Published: July 1, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon has hired a tech firm to help transfer the botched Cover Oregon health insurance exchange to the federal exchange website and finish building the state's Medicaid system.

The Oregon Health Authority will pay Deloitte Consulting LLC up to $18.4 million to be the "system integrator" that oversees the transition.

It's the same company that was hired to do an analysis and build a roadmap for the transition. In April, Deloitte recommended the state abandon its troubled exchange because it would be cheaper to switch to the federal site than to fix it. Cover Oregon officials heeded its call and decided to switch to the federal portal.

Oregon's exchange was the only one in the nation that didn't let the public enroll in coverage in one sitting. Instead, Oregonians had to use a time-consuming hybrid paper-online application process to get health insurance. Six top officials connected to the Cover Oregon debacle have resigned.

The decision to forego a system integrator on the original Cover Oregon website was widely blamed for contributing to the site's failure to launch.

An investigation ordered by Gov. John Kitzhaber also found that state managers failed to heed reports about problems that hindered the launch, and that contractor Oracle Corp. did a shoddy job in building the exchange.

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