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Nevada to move online healthcare enrollment to federal site

(Reuters) - Nevada's health insurance exchange board on Tuesday voted to transfer control over its online program from its vendor, Xerox, to the federal government's enrollment system.

"The Board’s unanimous decision ultimately reflects the Exchange’s foremost concern: ensuring that Nevadans receive unfettered access to health insurance coverage," Steve Fisher, interim executive director for the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, said in a statement announcing the move.

Fisher added that ending the Xerox contract was the most fiscally sound option "with the highest probability of success for the 2015 plan year."

According to the statement, the board's vote will not turn Nevada’s state-based health insurance program over to the federally administered program, known as a Federally-Facilitated Marketplace (FFM).

Nevada Health Link will serve as a Supported State Based Marketplace, which will continue to conduct plan certification, rate review, Medicaid eligibility and Medicaid enrollment, along with marketing and outreach, it said.

Nevada will also continue to oversee the Navigator program, which aids state residents in obtaining insurance coverage.

Xerox’s call center and website operations will remain in force for members now enrolled in coverage for 2014, the statement said. The system will stay available until Nov. 15 for those who qualify.

The federal government will pay all costs associated with the transition from Xerox to its web site, healthcare.gov, the statement said. Nevada will incur 10 percent of the cost of the move for its Medicaid patients.

In late April Oregon, whose health insurance network was dogged by technical glitches that prevented even a single subscriber from enrolling online, opted to move its state health exchange to the federal system, although officials did not rule out the possibility of returning to a state-based exchange.

(Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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