Report: Massachusetts, Vermont Withhold Payments To Health Site Contractor

Two states that used the contractor that built the glitch-plagued Obamacare website are withholding payments over their malfunctioning state insurance marketplaces, the Boston Globe reported Thursday.

A spokesman for Massachusetts’ insurance marketplace, the Commonwealth Health Connector, said the state won’t pay more than the $11 million it has already put toward its $69 million contract with CGI, the lead contractor tasked with building HealthCare.gov.

“CGI has consistently underperformed, which is frustrating and a serious concern,” Jason Lefferts told the Globe. “We are holding the vendor accountable for its underperformance and will continue to apply nonstop pressure to work to fix defects and improve performance. 

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) told the Globe that he has “lost confidence” in CGI. Vermont officials have notified the contractor that the state is withholding a $5.1 million payment because it missed key deadlines. The state is disputing an additional $1 million in incomplete work on its health care website. 

CGI spokeswoman Linda Odorisio told the Globe that the company is working to fix state websites and is reviewing Vermont’s letter stating its intent to recover damages. 

The federal health insurance exchange was also widely criticized for its botched October rollout, and President Barack Obama acknowledged last week in an end-of-year press conference that his administration “screwed it up.” CGI had maintained it was not the tech company’s decision to go live with the website, but rather the decision of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare, the federal agency in charge of HealthCare.gov.

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