Governors Are Fighting Back Against Bungled State Exchanges
President Obama isn’t the only politician granting extensions to sign up for healthcare. Governors of states that chose to implement their own marketplaces are reacting to the issues, scrambling to lengthen sign-up periods, and hitting back against contractors. In Maryland, Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley announced on December 17 that after working with CareFirst, individuals signing up through the Maryland exchange would have until December 27 to sign select a plan and still have coverage starting January 1. The enrollment data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for October 1 through November 30 shows that 3,758 people selected a plan in Maryland.
In Massachusetts, enrollment figures were even lower — 1,1,38. In Vermont, they were better than the other two, 4,987, but that state, like Massachusetts, is unhappy with contractor CGI, the builder of the online exchange. CGI also fumbled the rollout of the federal exchange.
Massachusetts is preparing for legal action against CGI, the Boston Globe reports. Taxpayer money has already furnished $11 million to CGI, out of a $69 million contract, and no more money will be paid until the website is fully functioning. In the meantime, Massachusetts has been using paper notifications and an alternative software. “CGI has consistently underperformed, which is frustrating and a serious concern,” Jason Lefferts, a spokesperson for the Commonwealth Health Connector said. “We are holding the vendor accountable for its underperformance and will continue to apply nonstop pressure to work to fix defects and improve performance.”