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Obama Administration Memos Reveal Utah Wanted Exchange Shut Down

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Obama administration memos released this week reveal that Utah insurance officials requested to shut down the state’s shopping portion of the federal exchange last month. The request was made after Utah’s biggest issuer, SelectHealth, was not appearing on the website marketplace.

Utah’s Assistant Insurance Commissioner Tanji Northrup says it took a few days after the federal exchange was launched on October 1st to figure out there was a major problem.

“Once we able to get on to Healthcare.gov, it was brought to our attention that Utah’s largest health insurer SelectHealth - none of their plans were showing up,” Northrup says.

Once state officials noticed the problem, Northrup says they immediately contacted US Department of Health and Human Services. They learned that the federal website was not able to process SelectHealth’s Utah template – so none of the insurer’s medical plans were showing up.

“Utah requested that the insurer’s shopping portion of the HHS website to be disabled until they could load the SelectHealth plans, because the information that was displaying to consumers was incorrect,” Northrup says.

The federal government did not shut down Utah’s shopping portion of the website, as requested by the state. Northrup says the issue was fixed on November 1st. She says she’s satisfied that the problem has been resolved, but displeased with the time it took to correct the errors.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Boston.com. Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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