No decision on future of Cover Oregon but options narrowed to two

No decision on future of Cover Oregon but options narrowed to two »Play Video
Dr. Bruce Goldberg refuses to answer questions from a KATU reporter Thursday after a Cover Oregon board meeting during which he officially stepped down as acting executive director of Cover Oregon. No decision was made during the meeting about Cover Oregon's future.

PORTLAND, Ore. - Officials with Oregon's troubled health insurance exchange say they have narrowed down the options for the future of the glitch-filled site to two: hooking up to the federal exchange or staying with the current technology and hiring a new contractor to fix it.
   
Cover Oregon's interim chief information officer Alex Pettit told board members Thursday that transferring technology from another state was too expensive for Oregon's exchange "within its existing resources."

Managers also need more information before they make a final decision on staying the course with the failed website, said Cover Oregon acting interim executive Bruce Goldberg before officially stepping down.

"Both options need to be fully vetted before we can make a final decision," he said.
   
Earlier this month, Maryland chose to replace its glitch-filled exchange with technology from Connecticut at an estimated cost of $40 to $50 million.
   
In Oregon, an analysis found the least expensive fix for Oregon's health exchange would be linking it to the federally run marketplace, at a cost of $4 million to $6 million.
   
The board also accepted the resignation of Goldberg effective immediately. The board hired turnaround consultant Clyde Hamstreet on a $40,000 retainer to take over the director's duties while the search for a permanent replacement continues.

Hamstreet's contract, obtained by KATU News, says Cover Oregon will pay him and four other consultants between $200 and $300 an hour for their services. The maximum amount Cover Oregon will pay Hamstreet is $100,000.

The consultants will have all the powers Goldberg did and will help restructure Cover Oregon as a company.

As for the website, managers are working to make a decision by the end of the month.


Full coverage of the troubled Cover Oregon website: