The original contract also required the study to "describe how they will project the number of individuals to be insured in public health care programs and any resulting issues, such as Medicaid, as a result of (Affordable Care Act)-mandated eligibility expansions."
The original study was to include background research on the uninsured and underinsured in the state; West Virginia's health insurance market; and insurance affordability. It also required different design options for the state's exchange, estimates of implementation cost and additional services as needed.
The insurance commission asked for bids in early 2012, and the responses were to be opened March 21. Of the three bids submitted, CCRC had the highest technical score by four points and the lowest bid price, Samples said.
It proposed spending $497,500 on background research, exchange design options and the impact of using the exchange. It included 1,500 hours of "ad hoc" services at a rate of $243 an hour to add $364,000 to the project, for a total project price of $861,500.
The Wisconsin offices of Oliver Wyman Actuarial Consulting submitted a total bid of $1.2 million. A final bid price for New York-based KPMG - which devoted the entire cover of its bid proposal to a picture of the gold-domed Capitol of New Jersey - was not listed on the website of the West Virginia purchasing division.
The entire cost of the contract is being covered by federal Planning Exchange and Level 1 Establishment grants, Samples said. The total value of the grants is $10.7 million, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
CCRC was awarded the contract last August and started work Sept. 12, Samples said.
It has been paid four of the five scheduled installments for its work, with each worth $99,500, Samples said.
Ad hoc services could continue after the report is completed, and the contract can be renewed twice if both parties agree. Samples said state officials don't expect to incur costs beyond the original contract amount.
CCRC expected to complete the report by Jan. 31. Samples said the reluctance of private health insurance companies to share information significantly delayed the work. After this delay the work plan was revised, he said.
The exchange and expansion decisions rely on similar information but are different aspect of the federal overhaul, said Perry Bryant, executive director of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care.
Bryant's organization supports extending eligibility for Medicaid coverage but said its members are excited to see all aspects of the report.
He is glad Tomblin commissioned the report because national studies have reported conflicting results for the state.
The Medicaid portion is taking longer than expected, he said. Tomblin faces no federal deadline for making the decision, but people could start to apply Oct. 1 if he opts for the expansion.
"The sooner we make that decision and release that report, then the better," Bryant said.
"It's already a very compressed timeframe and will take Herculean effort to get everything up and running in time," he continued.
Samples said he expects the entire project to be completed by May.
Tomblin spokeswoman Amy Shuler Goodwin said the governor would likely review the results for several weeks before making any decision.