Faced with a new user fee from the federal government, Oregon may switch back to running its own health insurance marketplace — but not build it from scratch like the disastrous first time around.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has proposed a 1.5 percent user fee for next year, ramping up to 3 percent after that, said Patrick Allen, director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services.
The fee is charged on premiums for state-based marketplaces that use the federal platform, including Oregon and Nevada.
At 3 percent, it would basically double the fees for Oregon carriers, who have already been losing money selling individual plans on the exchange. That's because the state currently charges carriers $9.66 per-member-per-month, which works out to 2.9 percent of premiums paid on medical plans.
The state originally tried to create its own health care marketplace, which was supposed to go live in October 2013. But Cover Oregon suffered from so many technical issues that it was scrapped. The Oregon Department of Justice and Cover Oregon contractor Oracle America have been sparring in court over who’s to blame for the $305 million debacle.