LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Nevada's health insurance exchange is cutting ties with Xerox and will partner with the federal government for the upcoming year.
Members of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange Board on Tuesday said they've lost confidence in Xerox's ability to fix myriad problems with Nevada's online web portal in time for the next open enrollment period that begins Nov. 15.
The board voted unanimously to become a "state supported" exchange for 2015. Nevada will retain its status as a state-based exchange, but will allow the federal government to determine eligibility and enrollment functions.
In the meantime, the state will research and solicit bids to consider adopting a program successfully working in another state.
Xerox has come under mounting criticism for ongoing computer errors, billing and enrollment problems since October.
Xeron released this statement today: "The SSHIX Board’s decision today is extremely disappointing.
"Xerox has been unwavering in its commitment to Nevada Health Link and to getting all aspects of the exchange right.We have engaged the full breadth of Xerox’s resources and have brought in external experts to meet that goal.
"We also reviewed with the Board how Nevada Health Link has fared in comparison to other state-based exchanges and the considerable accomplishment of the exchange in supporting Medicaid expansion in Nevada. The results have been significant: some 190,000 Nevadans have been determined eligible for Medicaid by Nevada Health Link, and more than 10,000 Nevadans have enrolled – and paid – through the exchange in the special enrollment period.
"These successes have been supported by more than 99% availability of the Xerox system, Xerox-implemented changes in governance and program assurance, and new system features for the special enrollment period that were put into place within two weeks.
"We stand ready to support the Exchange and Nevadans in whatever way necessary to support a successful 2015 open enrollment season, and we will work with the Board, the Exchange and others on next steps."
U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford released this statement: "Xerox failed Nevada and has been unable to establish a functioning online health insurance marketplace. Since the launch of Nevada Health Link, the entire system has performed inadequately: recurring website problems, billing errors, and slow responses to consumer complaints have plagued Nevada’s exchange.
“It is my understanding that Xerox has been paid $12 million of its contracted amount.
“I urge the Silver State Exchange Board of Directors, the body responsible for Nevada Health Link, to carefully examine how Xerox made use of the $12 million in taxpayer funds it has been paid, and how the State may be able to recuperate any losses.
“There is no question that the rollout of the Affordable Care Act has been challenging. Despite these difficulties, Governor Sandoval has been working with the Nevada Legislature to provide all Nevadans the ability to successfully enroll in a health insurance plan. It is our responsibility to work together to ensure the law is implemented correctly. To that end, it is also our responsibility to hold contractors accountable when they fail to deliver a working product.
“The Affordable Care Act, when implemented correctly, can improve access to health care for thousands of Nevadans. Having insurance can be the difference between life and death, and it is vital that we do everything we can do ensure the Affordable Care Act exchanges are functioning and accessible.”