MVHCA's Bobbi Hall reporting on the Cover Oregon Consumers Advisory Committee meeting in Portland

June 6 --I attended the statewide Cover Oregon Consumers  Advisory Committee meetings in Portland. I'm a member, and about 12 or  so of us show up once a month and hear from administrators about changes that are going on, and get updates;  we also ask a lot of  questions and give advice to the Cover Oregon administrators based on  what people in our home areas tell us.Yesterday was special because Clyde Hamstreet (the interim CEO) and  Tina Edlund  (the transitions director) spent an hour and a half with  us. They gave us the report they had given to the Oregon Legislative committee on May 28, and we had lots of questions for them. They have  made many structural changes. Re-structuring means that Oregon will complete the year on a secure  financial base. Many of the working parts of the Cover Oregon website  will be kept. In the future, OHA will be responsible for OHP enrollment, rather than Cover Oregon. Though the Federal website will  be used in November for commercial insurance plans, Oregon will retain  control of how they both are managed, and Oregon's insurance rates  will remain lower than those of most other states. Also, commercial rates in November will NOT be the same as they are now so people interested in changing their commercial plans need to check the Cover Oregon site in the fall.

The Cover Oregon board will meet  Thursday and possibly make some more decisions. Everyone at the meeting spoke very highly about the Community Partners and Navigators,  and the agents, who have helped people to enroll successfully. We also observed that many new enrollees need help in understanding how to use the system. Overall, we on the committee felt good about the meeting and the attitudes of the new managers, who very much want the programs to succeed. My own feeling is that the public attitude toward Cover Oregon is improving and will continue to, once the public learns how many people have been enrolled (more than 400,000 now). 

Report by Bobbi Hall

What Went Wrong With Cover Oregon?

In January, 2014, Governor Kitzhaber asked for an independent, third-party review of the Cover Oregon website project. These are the questions that First Data was tasked with asking:
1.  What was the basic oversight and governance accountability as it relates to the multiple parties and the procurement/administration/finances of vendor services?
2.  Who was in the position to make decisions as it relates to the Website Project?
3.  Why were Oracle products and Oracle services chosen for the Website Project?
4.  Did the State or Cover Oregon consider engaging a system integrator to assist with the Website Project?  If not, why not?  Did the Website Project Team or any of its members believe the State or Cover Oregon had the expertise to undertake the Website Project without the assistance of a system integrator?  If so, why?
5.  How was the original scope of the Website Project determined and by whom?  To what degree did the scope of the Website Project delay the implementation?  How was the scope managed?  After the Website Project Team or any of its members realized that the Website was not going to work, would it have been possible to change the scope?  If so, how?
6.  Did the Website Project Team or any of its members have a plan B for operations developed when the Website Project Team or any of its members realized or began to realize the exchange was not going to work?  If not, why not?
7.  When did the Website Project Team or any of its members realize or begin to realize the Website was not going to be ready?  Who first realized the Website was not going to be ready?

Do you want to know too?  Click here for the executive summary and full report.

Cover Oregon (CO) Consumers Advisory Committee meeting Feb. 7, 2014

Because of snow, this meeting was virtual and lasted only an hour and 15 minutes. Director Bruce Goldberg gave a 20-minute update on enrollment: in addition to 123,000 people enrolled fast-track, 67,517 applicants were enrolled in OHP and 35,247 in commercial plans; an additional 35,000 applicants have received information to enroll. Process is “hybrid” – a combination of internet and paper modes (no full internet yet). CO is working with agents and community partners and testing upgrades. CO is restructuring its customer service to improve flow. Also: The cost of hiring additional people is being covered within existing budgets of OHA and CO; it still is possible for CO to be self-funded at the required time; there is an improved online-fillable pdf application; they are looking at contingencies to put into place IF the site is not IT-ready at the end of the open-enrollment period (probably this is Mar. 15—not sure, and they are asking the feds to extend it, but doubt their request will be granted).
Following are answers to a few of the many questions he responded to: MODA has gotten most of the commercial business, and with Kaiser this amounts to more than ¾ of enrollees. After CO determines eligibility for OHP, the files go to OHA, which is supposed to send info to enrollees and OHA has backlogs (he hopes within the next 10 days this will be caught up). An applicant who is determined OHP eligible is covered retroactively to the date of the application, whereas someone enrolling in a commercial plan starts on the first of a month (depending on when the forms come in). Ads for CO have been pulled but a public service campaign will begin toward the end of Feb. to highlight the Mar. 15 enrollment deadline.  –Roberta Hall, CAC member from Corvallis