Nevada has just become latest state to abandon its troubled state health care exchange contractor as it moves towards adopting parts of the federal Healthcare.gov system for the next year.
Earlier this afternoon, The New York Times’ Abby Goodnough tweeted that the board of Nevada’s health insurance exchange voted to drop the contractor, Xerox, who built the Nevada Health Link website. The site, much like healthcare.gov, was plagued by technical flaws and delays.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Jennifer Robinson confirmed the news, and writes that Nevada will move “partly into the federal system for at least the next year.” The state will use a “federally supported” system for the 2014-15 enrollment period, that includes relying on the federal website for enrollments, while not become a full partner with the federal insurance exchange, according to Goodnough. For 2015-16, Nevada will likely take the "exchange in a box" approach that has been pioneered by Connecticut, which is “a potential cure for ailing state exchanges,” reports The Wall Street Journal’s Clint Boulton. Connecticut is working to help other states with mangled state-run exchanges use Connecticut's technology and processes to keep running their own state-specific sites.
Board of Nevada's troubled insurance exchange has voted to drop Xerox as vendor, move to a partnership exchange with the feds for a year...— Abby Goodnough (@abbygoodnough) May 20, 2014
Nevada is not the only state that has dumped a terrible state-based system. Oregon is the gave up on its state exchange in April, prompting the federal government to take it over, and joined Massachusetts and Vermont (two states who requested refunds for their busted healthcare websites). The Nevada Health Link, Nevada’s state health insurance site, debuted with a raft of problems on October 1, 2013, including major technical glitches that kept enrollment numbers much lower than the target of 118,000 people. Robinson reports that the move could cost more than $57 million in addition to the existing $72 million Xerox contract, but Nevada officials have already applied for federal grants.