After much apparent pleading from the contractor, Nevada made the decision to drop their individual ObamaCare website builder Xerox and is now the next state hitching its wagon to the federal online exchange. It all looked like it could have gone so well back in October, until users started trying to actually sign up for health insurance and began to uncover the more than 1,500 defects embedded in the site, according to a report from Deloitte last month, and the Silver State has finally realized that the situation cannot be salvaged any time soon — and certainly not in time for this year’s open enrollment period. Via the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
The board of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange voted this morning to dump the contractor that botched the building of its Nevada Health Link website, and to move partly into the federal system for at least the next year.
The move would let the state exchange keep its autonomy and its member-based funding, and to allow the marketplace to switch to an operational website from another state for its 2016 enrollment period.
The change to a new system could cost as much as $57 million in addition to the $72 million contract the exchange already had with Xerox. But exchange officials said they’ve already applied for federal grants to cover the cost. Plus, the cost of buying another system may drop considerably by the time the exchange is ready to go forward in late 2015, state officials said.
The board’s decision ends a troubled, two-year relationship with Xerox, which fell woefully behind schedule on its Nevada Health Link build. The system debuted on Oct. 1 to hundreds of technical flaws and software glitches, and sign-ups have been held to about a third of the initial enrollment target of 118,000.
The board had been considering a number of options, including bringing in a third-party manager to work with Xerox, transferring to another state’s functioning system, or moving to the federal exchange permanently, but they ultimately landed on the above — and in all of their forethought, they have “already applied for federal grants” to cover the potential $57 million in added costs. …How lucky.