E-mail to employees from Maryland IT chief confirms that state wants Connecticut system

Maryland’s health insurance exchange board will be asked Tuesday night to “adopt the Connecticut IT platform” in place of Maryland’s own troubled online health exchange, according to an e-mail that the state’s head of information technology sent Tuesday afternoon to contractors working on the exchange.

“We are hopeful that the board adopts this recommendation,” Isabel FitzGerald, Maryland’s secretary for information technology, wrote in an e-mail that was obtained by The Washington Post.

The exchange board is scheduled to meet at 5 p.m.

Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) and his staff have repeatedly declined to confirm reports that the state is planning to replace its troubled exchange with technology from Connecticut, a switch that is expected to cost tens of millions of dollars.

The Washington Post reported late Friday that the change would be made this week.

In the e-mail, FitzGerald wrote that Maryland will continue to maintain and operate its current exchange until the new system is ready, which is expected to happen in November. The second open enrollment period begins Nov. 15.

“I want to emphasize we still have a long road ahead of us and many people who still need our help to enroll so let’s stay focused on the work at hand,” FitzGerald wrote.

“[O]ur focus should be on getting people enrolled and delivering the fixes and additional functionality that our user community desperately needs to properly manage cases. We cannot lose sight of the fact those numbers on the board that we look at every week are actually people — people that have real lives and medical bills that need coverage.”

Jenna Johnson writes about Maryland politics, including the General Assembly, the administration of Gov. Martin O'Malley and the 2014 election.
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