US subpoenas Oregon insurance website documents

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 20, 2014 at 6:44 pm •  Published: May 20, 2014
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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed state records for a grand jury investigation of the troubled Cover Oregon health insurance website, the governor's office said Tuesday.

Oregon abandoned its plans for an independent online exchange after it failed to launch and the state said fixing it would be too time-consuming and expensive. Instead, Oregon last month decided to switch to the federal portal, making it the first state to do so.

The state paid its independent contractor, Oracle Corp., $134 million in federal funds to build what turned out to be a glitch-filled site. Instead of signing up for health insurance in one sitting, Oregonians had to use a hybrid paper-online process that was costly and slow, and the state had to hire more than 400 workers to help them.

The governor's office released subpoenas Tuesday from the U.S. attorney's office. The subpoenas were issued to both Cover Oregon and the Oregon Health Authority, which was responsible for the early technology development of the exchange site.

They demand records of communications between state officials involved in developing the website, five of whom have resigned. They include Bruce Goldberg, former head of the Oregon Health Authority; Rocky King, former Cover Oregon executive director; and Carolyn Lawson, the health authority's former chief information officer.

The subpoenas also demand communications with the federal government about the status or functionality of the website and communications about federal funding reviews and lists of people attending them.

And they ask for communications with Exeter Group Inc., a Boston-based software company that told Oregon it had an already built, inexpensive exchange that could plug into the state's existing technology.