Cover Oregon Board to Discuss Financial Outlook, Director Search

Liz Baxter, Board Chair, Cover Oregon

Liz Baxter, Board Chair, Cover Oregon

It’s a tricky and delicate time for Cover Oregon’s board of directors, who will take up a number of pressing issues during their monthly meeting this afternoon.

A top agenda item is the ongoing search for a new executive director to replace Rocky King, who announced his permanent resignation from Cover Oregon last month.

The board will also hear an update from staff on enrollment numbers and progress toward getting the website fully functioning.

But the most important item for discussion is the exchange’s ability to become financially self-sufficient, given that the federal grants that have been funding Cover Oregon will run out at the end of this year.

Beginning in 2015, Cover Oregon will have to fund itself through a $9.38 administrative fee on qualified health plans (QHPs) and a $6.95 per-member-per-month (PMPM) fee on enrollments into the Oregon Health Plan.

The revenue that Cover Oregon generates is completely dependent on its enrollment numbers, which have been revised downward in light of the exchange website’s ongoing failure to function.

Cover Oregon officials have said they need between 100,000 and 125,000 people enrolled in QHPs by the end of 2015 to be sustainable.

“Getting us to being sustainable is absolutely critical,” Board Chair Liz Baxter said during a Feb. 12 meeting of the board’s finance and audit committee.