NEW YORK, Jan. 12:(AFP) – Global consulting firm Accenture has been chosen to take over the running of the US government’s trouble-plagued health insurance website, the White House and company confirmed.
The administration of US President Barack Obama announced Saturday it had decided to part ways with CGI Federal, the main contractor that built HealthCare.gov and worked to solve the litany of problems since its October 1 rollout.
“We have selected Accenture to become the lead contractor for the HealthCare.gov portal and to prepare for next year’s open enrollment period,” the administration said in a statement. Accenture corroborated Saturday, stating it had been awarded “a one-year contract to continue technical improvements to the Health Insurance Marketplace website,” confirming a report from the previous day by The Washington Post.
The Accenture statement said a $45 million contract will cover the project’s initial phase, whose duration was not specified. The Washington Post on Friday estimated the contract to be worth $90 million in total.
HealthCare.gov was designed to offer insurance to millions of Americans who were unable to secure it until now — some because of pre-existing health conditions like heart disease that insurers were unwilling to cover.
But the site was unable to cope with the full onslaught of users until the end of November, the fiasco proving a major embarrassment for the Obama administration and a threat to its flagship health reforms.
Accenture, one of the world’s largest consulting firms, has already built the health care exchange for the US state of California as well as websites and portals for the US government’s Internal Revenue Service, Census Bureau and Department of Education.