Accenture picked to run HealthCare.gov

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Tech company Accenture will be hired to take over the trouble federal health care website HealthCare.gov.

The Obama administration is parting ways with the lead outside contractor CGI Federal. HealthCare.gov had to be rebuilt after a disastrous launch Oct. 1 that embarrassed the president.

CGI Federal’s contract will not be renewed after February, a person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press.

Aaron Albright, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, confirmed the change in an indirectly worded statement. “We are working with our contract partners to make a mutually agreed upon transition,” he said.

The White House had hoped the website would make buying insurance under the new health care law as easy as online shopping. Instead, HealthCare.gov seized up on Oct. 1, the day it was launched. Although hundreds of thousands of people tried to sign up, only a handful actually succeeded.

The site was down 60 percent of the time in October. Since it was fixed, more than 1 million people have signed up.

Newsweek contributor Lynnley Browning wrote several stories about CGI’s handling of the website.

Newsweek reported Friday that CGI’s contract period is set to run out at the end of February. Rathern than renew the contract, officials are likely to sign a new 12-month contract, worth roughly $90 million, with Accenture.

The Washington Post, which first reported Accenture would get the contract, said the consulting firm declined to comment.

Problems with the website were blamed for just 1,370 people in Illinois and 106,185 nationwide enrolled in a plan under the Affordable Care Act in the first month of its operation. It was just a fraction of the nearly 500,000 initial signups that federal officials had projected a month before the website launched Oct. 1.

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