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Tipsheet

It Gets Worse: Oregon Exchange Has Never Ever Worked

As Katie and I wrote earlier this week, Oregon has experienced a few troubles with the opening of its healthcare exchange. Namely, nobody has been able to sign up.

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Just a small issue.

Today, however, more details have emerged that paint an even bleaker picture of the healthcare exchange in the Beaver State. Reuters reports:

Unlike most other states, Oregon set an ambitious course to make its insurance exchange, dubbed Cover Oregon, an "all-in-one" website for every individual seeking health coverage, including those who are eligible for Medicaid.

But instead of serving as a national model, Oregon's experience has emerged as a cautionary tale, inviting comparisons to technical glitches that have plagued other state-run portals and the federal government's website for those states lacking exchanges of their own.

Oregon's online exchange has remained inaccessible to the public, requiring the state to sign up applicants the old-fashioned way, using paper forms. This has made comparison shopping more difficult for consumers and severely slowed the enrollment process.

The paper forms required to enroll in an exchange are between nine and 19 pages long. So far, nobody has been enrolled using a paper form, and over 400 employees will be hired to help process the applications.

Oregon received over $220 million dollars in federal funding to create this broken mess of a website.

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