Nevada became the latest State to abandon its State-managed Obamacare online marketplace Tuesday, ending its relationship with the company that had been hired to set up and manage the Nevada Health Link exchange and referring future customers to the Federal Obamacare website, healthcare.gov.
Nevada’s insurance commission, the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, unanimously voted to part ways with Xerox after losing confidence that the company could adequately correct a series of ongoing problems with the State exchange website in time for Obamacare enrollment this fall. The Silver State board emphasized that its reliance on healthcare.gov could end at the State’s discretion, should Nevada make a future attempt at contracting to develop a new State-managed Obamacare website.
Nevada had awarded Xerox a $75 million contract, which was supposed to have produced a fully-functioning website and an underpinning enrollment database to track customers’ plans and payments. Silver State exchange board members and elected officials reportedly reached a consensus that it made no sense to push forward with a potentially costly fix, with Xerox at the helm, lacking a clear timetable or estimate of the final bill.
Nevada residents filed a class action lawsuit against Nevada Health Link in early April, alleging that the service failed to insure them even after they enrolled and paid their premiums. On the heels of the class action came a report from consulting firm Deloitte, which had been hired to assess whether it makes financial sense to salvage the Xerox-run exchange. “[T]he current project team has not proven they can successfully deliver the required management, processes or solution to successfully deliver an operational exchange,” Deloitte advised.
Nevada joins Oregon as the two States to give up completely on an in-house Obamacare marketplace for the coming 2015 enrollment period by reverting to healthcare.gov; Maryland and Massachusetts have also abandoned their expensive Obamacare websites to start over on State-managed websites officials hope to deploy in time for fall enrollment. Hawaii’s State-run exchange – the most expensive Obamacare site, per enrollee, in the Nation – also appears to be on the way out.