Accenture taking over HealthCare.gov

Accenture taking over HealthCare.gov (January 10, 2014)

Accenture Plc., which has one if its largest offices in Chicago, is expected to take over as lead operator of HealthCare.gov, the beleagured federal website created to let Americans to sign up for health insurance under Obamacare, according to published reports.

The company is replacing CGI Group which said Friday it will not have its contract renewed when it expires next month.  

HealthCare.gov's technology failures in the weeks after its Oct. 1 launch created a political crisis for President Barack Obama, threatening the rollout of his signature healthcare law to consumers and emboldening its foes among Republican lawmakers to call for its delay.

CGI has been immersed in the effort to repair the site, which began working more smoothly for hundreds of thousands of consumers in December, allowing them to enroll in new health insurance plans offered under Obama's Affordable Care Act.

But the government's dissatisfaction over the website's early crash, as well as aspects of the site that still do not work, are behind plans to sign a one-year contract with Accenture instead, the Post report said, quoting a person familiar with the matter.

CGI's current contract for the work ends in late February, and the new 12-month agreement with Accenture is valued at about $90 million, the Post said.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the government agency overseeing the Obamacare rollout, would not confirm or deny that it planned to end its contract with CGI.

'We are working with our contract partners to make a mutually agreed upon transition to ensure that HealthCare.gov continues to operate smoothly for consumers," a CMS spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement.

In an e-mailed statement, an Accenture spokesman said it was not appropriate discuss possible business opportunities.

"We are in discussions with clients and prospective clients all the time," he said.

Officials at CGI were not immediately available for comment.

More than 1 million people in 36 states have enrolled in health plans through HealthCare.gov, most of them in December. Another 1 million people enrolled through websites run by individual exchanges in the other 14 U.S. states.