2 States Stop Paying Builder of Bungled Health Care Sites

Vermont is asking for a refund, and Massachusetts is considering it
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2013 7:17 AM CST
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick gives a speech in this file photo.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)
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(Newser) – The federal health care exchange isn't the only one that CGI Federal screwed up. The much-maligned contractor also built seven exchanges for individual states, and now two of those states—Massachusetts and Vermont—have stopped payment, with Vermont even requesting a refund, thanks to the company's failure to deliver, the Boston Globe reports. Until recently, Massachusetts' site had failed to enroll even a single customer, while Vermont residents weren't able to buy coverage until early December.

Massachusetts already had a health care exchange site, but opted to build a new one to accommodate the extra features the federal law demanded. "CGI has consistently underperformed," a state spokesman said, promising that the state won't pay another cent on its $69 million contract until the site is fully functioning; it's paid $11 million so far, and state health officials will meet next month to discuss formally suspending payments and possible refunds. Vermont has already halted a $5.1 million payment. A CGI Group spokesman tells the New York Times that it's intent on getting the sites up and running and not "wasting a lot of time and effort in the clauses of the contracts when we're doing that." It added that not all of its state exchanges were underperforming; California's, which it had a hand in, has outperformed its federal counterpart. (Read more CGI Federal stories.)

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