Mass. ins. exchange, working since 2006, tanks with Obamacare contractor

Mass. ins. exchange, working since 2006, tanks with Obamacare contractor

[Ed. – Kiss. Of. Death.]

Following the passage of  RomneyCare in 2006, the state of Massachusetts set up a prototype of the Obama health care exchanges called the Massachusetts Health Connector. It was a simple website that listed plans offered by various health insurers and it seemed to work fairly well. Although I did not support RomneyCare, I hoped that by getting ahead of the healthcare.gov train wreck, Massachusetts residents would be unaffected by the destructive Obamacare rollout.

It turns out I was very wrong. The Boston Globe reports this week:

The [Health Connector] website, created under Massachusetts’ 2006 landmark health insurance law, worked well for several years. But it was overhauled last year to meet the more complicated demands of the Affordable Care Act — by CGI, the same company that designed the federal health insurance website, which also had a disastrous rollout this fall.

While the performance of the federal site has improved markedly, the Massachusetts site continues to have serious problems.

The website has been locking users out of accounts and providing confusing error messages. And parts of the system designed to automatically determine applicants’ eligibility for tax credits and to deliver key information to insurers simply have not worked. The flaws prompted the state to stop paying CGI on its $68 million contract — of which $15 million has been paid — and to bring in Optum, a separate health care technology firm, to fix the problems.

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