Nevada to use federal exchange for next open enrollment

The board of Nevada's online insurance exchange voted Tuesday to scrap its contract with Xerox, which built the exchange that has been marked by problems. Meanwhile, federal prosecutors have subpoenaed the Oregon Health Authority and Cover Oregon for records -- everything from outlines and notes to emails -- related to how the state spent federal money on the creation of its failed exchange.

The New York Times: Health Site Under Fire, Nevada Alters Path
The board of Nevada's problem-plagued online health insurance exchange voted Tuesday to end its contract with the vendor in charge of building it and to rely on the federal enrollment system for at least a year. The board voted unanimously to sever ties with the vendor, Xerox, which had a $72 million contract to build the Nevada exchange and has been paid $12 million to date. The exchange has been riddled with problems, including billing and enrollment errors that led to a class-action lawsuit by 200 customers who said they paid for exchange plans but still have no coverage (Goodnough, 5/20).

The Wall Street Journal: Nevada Scraps Xerox For Health Site
Nevada's health-care exchange board voted Tuesday to cut ties with Xerox Corp., which helped build the state's troubled insurance website, and instead use the federal government's technology for the next insurance enrollment season. A spokesman for the exchange, known as Nevada Health Link, said lawyers were examining provisions in the state's $75 million, five-year contract with Xerox to allow it to terminate it early. The state has paid Xerox around $12 million for work that had been completed to its satisfaction, said C.J. Bawden, the spokesman (Radnofsky, 5/20).

Politico: Nevada Latest State To Scrap Its Obamacare Exchange
Nevada has become the latest state to scrap its crippled Obamacare exchange and join the federal for at least a year. The Silver State, which had seemed to start strong last October before smashing into a wall of technical problems, is the only state with a Republican governor that ran its own health insurance exchange in 2014. Gov. Brian Sandoval had argued that it was important for his state to steer its own exchange, even though he opposed Obamacare (Cheney, 5/20).

The Hill: Nevada Nixes Its Health Exchange
Nevada fired Xerox Tuesday from managing its state health exchange website, Nevada Health Link, after a series of problems with the site. The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange board voted unanimously to cut ties with Xerox, stating it had lost faith the company could fix a slew of problems that plagued its insurance exchange site before the November enrollment period begins (Al-Faruque, 5/20).

The Associated Press: U.S. Subpoenas Oregon Insurance Website Documents
Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed state records for a grand jury investigation of the troubled Cover Oregon health insurance website, the governor's office said Tuesday (5/20).

Reuters:  Federal Prosecutors Subpoena Oregon Health Exchange Officials In Grand Jury Probe
Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed documents from Oregon's health exchange agency as part of a grand jury investigation into how the state used federal money to set up the now-failed health insurance exchange, state officials said on Tuesday. The Oregon Health Authority and Cover Oregon have received subpoenas from federal prosecutors asking for everything from power points, outlines and notes to emails between former state employees who left amid the controversial implosion of the state exchange (Sebens, 5/20).

The Oregonian: Federal Investigators Issue Subpoena To Cover Oregon, Oregon Health Authority
The federal criminal investigation of Oregon's health insurance exchange took a step into public view Tuesday when the U.S. Attorney's office issued broad subpoenas seeking information from Cover Oregon and the Oregon Health Authority. While the Federal Bureau of Investigation's interest in the exchange debacle had been previously reported, the legal demands dated May 13 indicate things may have moved beyond a preliminary inquiry to a full-blown investigation. The investigation, led by federal prosecutors and the FBI, is seeking documents, memos, and emails between the two state entities that oversaw the botched health exchange with U.S. authorities in charge of dispensing federal money for the project (Manning, 5/20).

Modern Healthcare Medical Practices Having Difficulty Dealing With Exchange Plans
Medical practices around the country have been having nightmares dealing with health plans on the insurance exchanges created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a new survey by the Medical Group Management Association. Almost 80 percent of the 728 responding medical groups reported their practice is participating with new health insurance products sold on the ACA exchanges. More than 90 percent of these practices have already seen patients with this coverage. But, as of last month, 56 percent of responding practices said they had not seen any change in their patient population size, while 24 percent said they had seen a slight increase (Dickson, 5/20).

From Connecticut --

The CT Mirror: Access Health CT's 2015 Plans: See What's Changing
The plans sold through Access Health CT, the state's health insurance exchange, are changing next year. Here's an early look at the changes and new options, which are expected to go on sale Nov. 15. They will replace the plans the exchange currently sells. These templates show the standard benefit designs that each insurer selling plans on the exchange must follow in 2015. The differences from the 2014 plans are highlighted in yellow. Insurance companies will also be allowed to sell additional plans with different designs, but those aren't available yet (Becker, 5/21).

The CT Mirror: Six Ways CT's Obamacare Exchange Insurance Will Change Next Year
Yes, the enrollment period for plans sold by Connecticut's health insurance exchange ended less than two months ago. But the marketplace, Access Health CT, and health insurance companies are already working on next year's plan offerings, which will replace the plans customers have now. There will be some significant changes. One thing that still hasn't been determined: What the plans will cost (Becker, 5/21).

And on the Medicaid expansion front --

Springfield (Mo.) News Leader: Nixa Republican To Develop Medicaid Expansion Plan
A Nixa Republican lawmaker said Tuesday that he will craft a plan to expand Medicaid. Rep. Lynn Morris, a pharmacist, plans to introduce an expansion plan that will be developed this summer. "I really believe there's more people today on the Republican side that would like to look at Medicaid expansion than there was a year ago," Morris told the News-Leader (Shorman, 5/20).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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