Price of fixing Obamacare website rises to $121 million

By Tom Howell Jr.
The Washington Times
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

That cost is roughly $30 million more than initially projected, underscoring the price of trying to keep President Obama’s signature domestic law on track. The price is also about $30 million more than the reported value of CGI’s initial Obamacare contract, signed in 2011.

Accenture announced the deal in a press release on its website, saying the contract includes “enhancing the back-end capabilities to improve issuer payments,” adding fuel to recent suggestions there is plenty of work left on the so-called “back-office” functions of the exchange that make sure subsidy and premium payments are calculated correctly.

Government officials said the new contract requirements include functions that were not included in the initial launch.

Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services set aside $45 million in up-front payments and reserved an additional $45 million to cover anticipated costs. The final amount, valued at an additional $31 million than the aggregate, is based on an informed review of the federal exchange an its needs, officials said.

“As CMS moves forward in our efforts to help consumers access quality, affordable health coverage, we have finalized a one-year agreement begun in January with Accenture to continue their work on,” spokesman Aaron Albright said in a statement. “We are pleased that more than 8 million consumers have enrolled in a private plan through the federal Marketplace and look forward to continuing to work with Accenture to prepare for the next open enrollment period.”

The federal exchange and various state-run portals experienced widespread glitches when they launched in October, threatening to kill Mr. Obama’s health overhaul in its infancy. While tech gurus righted the federal exchange by December, several state exchanges are still dealing with their websites’ problems.

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