SALEM -- Oregon lawmakers are urging state officials to look into backup plans in case Cover Oregon isn't ready to use the federal government's online health insurance enrollment system before the November deadline.
Officials reported to a state legislative committee Wednesday on their progress transitioning from a failed state-run website to one run by the federal government.
Tina Edlund, the state administrator overseeing the transition, said the state has learned from past mistakes and is working to avoid them.
Cover Oregon spokesman Michael Cox said Edlund and other administrators are currently in the process of a 45-day “deep dive” into exactly what needs to be done for the transition to the federal system. Cover Oregon must also transition the state’s Medicaid enrollment system back to the Oregon Health Authority.
Sen. Chip Shields requested an analysis of alternatives if the federal website isn't ready to handle Oregonians seeking health insurance when the enrollment period begins Nov. 15.
The state will have to hire a new contractor to facilitate both of those transitions and ideally they want one company to handle both aspects.
They hope to award that contract by June 30, start testing the revamped system on August 15 and then have everything up and running by November 15.
“Oregon is moving forward,” Cox said.
Edlund also plans to update another legislative committee on Thursday afternoon.
Gov. John Kitzhaber announced just hours before that he will address the committee to discuss “actions to improve accountability related to Cover Oregon, including efforts to hold Oracle accountable for its failure to deliver a fully functional website.”
KGW will have the latest from the governor Thursday afternoon on KGW.com and on KGW News starting at 4 p.m.