HEALTH

Maryland Health Exchange glitches will cost taxpayers $30.5MM

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(WJLA) - The Maryland Health Exchange website debacle has been well documented. The software has been so glitch-filled that many people like home health care provider Christina Ochocha have been unable to sign up for coverage.

“I'm concerned, I'm worried because you don't really know what is going to happen the next minute," she says.

Sarah Toppins had the same experience and eventually had to find private insurance:

“When the whole thing started I thought it was a good idea, and then I tried to get on the Maryland system and couldn't.”

Now for the first time, we’re hearing estimates of how much more the troubled $200 million website will cost taxpayers. At a hearing in Annapolis on Thursday, state budget officials revealed an estimated $30.5 million over the next 18 months because of the bugs in the system.

"So to find out now that my problems are gonna cost me money even though I had to go elsewhere for insurance -- I find that a little upsetting," says Toppins.

The particular glitch exposed today has to do with the system’s inability to track which Medicaid recipients no longer qualify for the benefits because their income has gone up.

But it’s just one glitch in an entire system that needs to be fixed, and the report points out even after firing the contractor who created the mess, the state still has no plan as to how to fix it.

"It's unfortunate that tax dollars are being wasted like that. If it's not working, try something different. You don't keep throwing money into something that's not working," says William Mathis.

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