Report Tallies Funds Committed To Federal Insurance Exchange
The federal government has committed nearly $800 million to the project, according the Health and Human Services' inspector general. Also in the news, Washington state will have a special limited enrollment period for people who want to shop for coverage outside the marketplace as a result of continuing exchange problems. Meanwhile, Idaho is setting up its own marketplace.
Politico Pro: First IG Report Coming Tuesday On Federal Exchange Contracts
The HHS Inspector General’s Office will release a report Tuesday that CMS spent $500 million on the federal Obamacare exchange through February and committed nearly $800 million to the project. The total cost is in line with other recent estimates. Last month, the Government Accountability Office reported that CMS had obligated about $840 million to the exchange through March (Norman, 8/25).
Seattle Times: Health Exchange Problems Prompt Special Enrollment Period
Responding to ongoing problems at the Washington Healthplanfinder insurance exchange, state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler on Monday instituted a limited special enrollment period for consumers who want to obtain coverage outside the exchange. From Aug. 27 to Nov. 14, those who have had problems with enrolling or making payments through Healthplanfinder can enroll in coverage outside the exchange either by selecting a different plan with the same carrier or by changing carriers. “This is a problem that has been around since the end of December,” Kreidler said in an interview (Marshall, 8/25).
McClatchy: Idaho Preps For Obamacare Re-Enrollment
As federal officials wrestle over whether HealthCare.gov will withstand the weight of millions of new customers and re-enrollees this fall, state brass with Your Health Idaho are looking to detach from the federal health insurance portal. But they’re going to need help from Idahoans. The state-run insurance marketplace has begun setting up state-based accounts through its own technology for the 76,000 residents who signed up for health care last year, said spokeswoman Jody Olson (Smith, 8/25).
Meanwhile, coverage continues about Oregon's lawsuit against Oracle, and The New York Times reports on Todd Park's expected departure as the White House's top technology adviser -
Oregonian: Court Filings Show Oracle America Stymied Oregon DOJ Demand For Documents
The Oregon Department of Justice jousted for nearly two months with Oracle America over the state's demand for documents from the California software giant relating to the health exchange debacle. In fact, Oracle flouted state law and stymied the demand, according to DOJ. The state filed papers in federal court Friday that provide a glimpse into high-stakes jockeying that for months took place largely out of public view (Budnick 8/25).
Oregonian: Feds Back Down From Directive That Undermined Oregon Health Plan Reforms
The federal government says that executives of organizations serving the Oregon Health Plan should not overreact to a recent letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that demanded changes in how the state accounts for its payments to provider organizations under recent reforms. On Aug. 7, the federal agency that holds the purse strings for care of nearly 1 million low-income Oregon Health Plan members harshly criticized the state's system for distributing money to regional coordinated care organizations set up by state changes. The groups, which act like insurance plans, are known as CCOs. The Aug. 7 letter from CMS said the state is employing "high-risk practices" in setting its payment rates, and using projections that "differ greatly" from those used by the care organizations themselves (Budnick, 8/25).
The Washington Post: Oregon Files Suit Against Oracle, Developer Of Faulty Health Exchange
The Oregon Department of Justice on Friday filed suit against the developer of its catastrophically broken health-care exchange, accusing Oracle America Inc. of false statements, fraud and racketeering, among other misdeeds. In a 126-page filing, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (D) in a Marion County court, says Oracle fraudulently induced Oregon and its health-care exchange, Cover Oregon, into contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars. In total, the state spent more than $240 million on Oracle; Cover Oregon, a disaster from the start, failed to sign up a single person for health-care coverage through its Web site (Wilson, 8/25).
The New York Times: Technology Adviser Expected To Leave White House Post
Todd Park, President Obama’s top technology adviser and an important figure in the emergency effort last year to fix the federal government’s online health care marketplace after a disastrous beginning, is leaving the White House, a person familiar with the matter said Monday (Joachim, 8/25).