SALEM – Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has called for an independent review of the beleaguered Cover Oregon website and announced developer Oracle will not receive a nearly $20 million payment until the site is fixed.
Cover Oregon executive director Bruce Goldberg made the announcements at a press briefing Monday morning, saying the state has hired contractors to look into the problems that have plagued the health care exchange since its October rollout.
Background: Cover Ore. clings to vision despite delays
Goldberg did not elaborate on the details of the review, saying it’s now a legal matter.
The state has also contacted independent lawyers to explore legal options against Oracle. Officials complained that Oracle has missed several deadlines and the all-in-one website they envisioned is still virtually worthless.
"That's what we thought we were buying and until we get that, we certainly need to enroll people by the paper process and I think that the contractor bears some responsibility for paying for that," Goldberg told KGW's Unit 8 investigators Chris Willis.
Cover Oregon leaders said they were focused on getting people enrolled by the deadline and fixing the website. They are bringing in computer coding experts to try and get the system running.
A payment to Oracle of $18 million to $20 million is being withheld until the website is working properly.
Meanwhile about 20,000 people have applied through paper applications. An army of at least 400 workers is processing applications by hand. And the deadline to sign up for insurance has been extended to Dec. 27 at 5 p.m.
Anyone who has enrolled by that deadline will have insurance beginning Jan. 1.
Complete coverage: Cover Oregon