Oregon underestimated Medicaid expansion price tag

Oregon underestimated Medicaid expansion price tag

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Amid the embarrassing collapse of Cover Oregon, the state’s failed health insurance enrollment website, then-Gov. John Kitzhaber and lawmakers found solace in an unrelated success — a massive hike in enrollment in the Oregon Health Plan.

The Health Plan is Oregon’s Medicaid program, and as hundreds of thousands of people became newly eligible last year under President Barack Obama’s health care law, most of them signed up.

Data from the Oregon Health Authority shows that in the first year, enrollment was 73 percent higher than anticipated.

The bill will be soon be coming due, however, as the state begins sharing the costs. The Affordable Care Act said the federal government would cover 100 percent of medical costs only until 2017, when its share would begin dropping to 90 percent.