In December, Maryland Health Connection Executive Director Rebecca Pearce resigned, and in late February, the exchange fired its primary IT contractor, Noridian Healthcare Solutions.
In addition to downtime for fixes, the exchange has had issues with lost and frozen applications, incorrect subsidy determinations and feuding contractors.
Maryland enrolled 63,002 people in private health plans as of the end of open enrollment on March 31. Connecticut, a smaller state with fewer uninsured residents, enrolled 76,597 people.
Maryland likely won't be the only state to dump its own exchange, said Howard, who sees Oregon, Minnesota and Massachusetts as likely candidates to follow Maryland. He calls all four state exchanges "outright failures."
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He also expects most states on the federal exchange to come off in the next few years, taking back some autonomy.
"States really do need to have a better understanding of their marketplaces, to have a role in plan management, plan selection," Howard said "They know their citizens, their unique needs."
And, in fact, Counihan said Connecticut has been in talks with four other states, some on the federal exchange, some running their own sites, to provide similar services.
Consolidation is the most likely course of action for everyone, Howard said. He doesn't expect any more states to start their own exchanges. Instead, they'd be more likely to join some other multistate exchange.
He pointed to Kentucky, with its successful, "clean, no-frills model" exchange and California, which has outpaced other states in enrollments, as states that could follow Connecticut's lead in franchising their services. He also expects new vendors to enter the fray.
—By CNBC's Jodi Gralnick. Follow her on Twitter @jodigralnick.