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Mass. dumps health insurance website contractor

Massachusetts is dumping the contractor that created the state’s dysfunctional online health insurance marketplace and may hire a new company to fix the Health Connector website, a top state official said Monday.

“We have made the decision we’re going to be parting ways with CGI,” said Sarah Iselin, who was hired recently by Governor Deval Patrick to oversee repairs to the website, which hasn’t worked properly since it was launched last October. The state has scrambled since then to sign up thousands of residents for health insurance that meets the requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act., resorting to using paper applications.

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The state was granted an extension of the enrollment deadline from the end of March to June 30, but Iselin said at a meeting of the Health Connector board that the state plans to ask the federal government for another extension because it won’t be able to meet the June 30 deadline.

The state now hopes to have a functioning website for next fall’s enrollment period for coverage beginning in 2015.

CGI released a written statement in response to the state’s decision yesterday. “CGI has worked tirelessly to deliver a health insurance exchange for the residents of Massachusetts. We 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,’’ the statement said.

CGI was also the main contractor hired to build the federal HealthCare.gov website that got off to a troubled start last fall but has since been largely fixed.

Liz Kowalczyk can be reached at kowalczyk@globe.com.
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