MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota’s online health insurance marketplace announced Deloitte Consulting on Wednesday as the lead manager to overhaul its troubled website and computer systems, citing the company’s record of success in other states.
MNsure’s contract with Deloitte is worth $4.95 million and will run for nine months. Details of Deloitte’s plans were scheduled to be presented to MNsure’s board of directors Wednesday afternoon.
Deloitte’s main task will be to provide a better experience for consumers when the next open enrollment period begins this fall.
New York-based Deloitte was one of the original bidders for the contract to build Minnesota’s exchange, but Deloitte wanted $20 million more than the state was willing to pay at the time. The contract went instead to Reston Va.-based Maximus Inc., but the state took back control of the project early last year amid concerns about slow progress and missed deadlines.
Technical problems marred MNsure’s launch last October and persisted for months, frustrating thousands of people who tried to meet deadlines for enrolling for health care coverage set by the federal Affordable Care Act. Minnesota’s legislative auditor, James Nobles, said last week that he plans to conduct an independent review of what went wrong.
More than 186,000 Minnesotans have signed up for coverage through MNsure, however, and the exchange offers some of the lowest premium rates in the country. Minnesota was one of 14 states plus the District of Columbia that opted to set up their own exchanges instead of sending their residents into the federal exchange.
MNsure’s announcement pointed to Deloitte’s success in designing and developing exchanges for Connecticut, Kentucky, Rhode Island and Washington state, which it called “national models of simple design, effective technology, and stable websites.”
Minnesota joined Maryland and Nevada in turning to Deloitte for help with their struggling exchanges. Maryland decided earlier this month to scrap its badly flawed system and replace it with technology Deloitte developed for Connecticut. However, Oregon’s severely troubled exchange terminated a limited contract with Deloitte for advice on future technology options and is considering switching to the federal website instead of adopting technology from another state.
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