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Life Health > Health Insurance > Health Insurance

Some state exchanges take hits, too

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Several state-based exchanges are showing signs of strain as the Jan. 1 start date for plan coverage nears.

In Oregon, Rocky King, the executive director of the troubled Cover Oregon, is taking a three-month medical leave.

Cover Oregon has enjoyed enthusiastic state support, but hasn’t been able to get its enrollment site running. Until a few days ago, it couldn’t even confirm it had succeeded at enrolling anyone at all.

Gov. John Kitzhaber, a Democrat, announced in mid-November that he was bringing in Greg Van Pelt, a former health system chief executive, to help fix the Cover Oregon program, and asking Dr. Bruce Goldberg, the director of the Oregon Health Authority, to oversee the application and enrollment processes.

The Cover Oregon board said Goldberg will run the exchange as director while the board looks for an interim executive director.

The exchange is running on a paper-based application review process right now, and reported Monday that it’s enrolled 3,500 Oregon residents.

In November, Coral Andrews, the executive director of another state-based exchange, the Hawai’i Health Connector, said she would not seek to renew her two-year contract, which expires Friday.

Meanwhile, in Vermont, a state that’s requiring small groups to buy coverage through its Vermont Health Connect exchange, managers have been unable to get the small-group premium processing system working properly.

The exchange says 2013 plans for employers that have signed up to use exchange plans in 2014 will be extended into 2014, to help make up for a late Vermont small-group exchange program start.

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