Massachusetts is negotiating an end to its contract with CGI, the Canadian vendor that built the state’s flawed health insurance website while scrambling to fix it.
The site was supposed to be up last October, offering one-stop health insurance shopping for anyone in Massachusetts. But six months later, only a few functions work but have glitches, and a few are not usable at all.
Sarah Iselin, a special assistant to Gov. Deval Patrick hired to oversee the fixing of the website, has been working with a team of outside contractors from the health technology company Optum to determine if the CGI project can be fixed.
“That assessment made clear that based on past performance and our current needs, parting ways with CGI is the right course for the commonwealth moving forward,” Iselin said Monday.
In a statement, CGI said it will “work with the Commonwealth to ensure a smooth transition to the next phase of exchange deployment, allowing for the best use of system capabilities already in place.”
Iselin and her team told the Health Connector board they are reviewing two possible remedies: hiring a new vendor to build on working parts of the current site or buying website elements from other insurance exchange sites. (The Massachusetts Health Connector, which started years ago, is the state’s equivalent of an exchange.)
Iselin cautions that buying elements will be difficult because Massachusetts has many unique insurance rules, including 263 different factors that determine who is eligible for what type of coverage.