Oregon mulling relaunching state insurance exchange

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Rising fees have Oregon health officials mulling whether to relaunch the state's own health care insurance exchange even after its previous health coverage website failed.

The Bend Bulletin reports Oregon has a state-based marketplace but currently uses the software platform on its site. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, allowed states to use the software for free in the first two open enrollment sessions but started charging a fee of 1.5 percent of premiums for the 2017 open enrollment period. CMS then raised the fees to 2 percent for 2018 and will charge states 3 percent for 2019.

Oregon exchange officials say health plans paid an estimated $16 million in fees for the 2018 open enrollment period, and expect to pay somewhere between $25 million and $30 million for 2019.

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