HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut’s health insurance exchange (HIX) said Monday it has selected a Virginia company with a troubled history in the state to run a new exchange consumer enrollment center.
The exchange, known as Access Health CT, said Maximus Inc. has been awarded a three-year contract. The contract will start March 1.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) requires states and federal agencies to set up a system of exchanges, or Web-based health insurance supermarkets, for individuals and small employers. The exchanges are supposed to be open for business by Oct. 1.
“The decision to purchase insurance is an important one, especially for those who have not had insurance in the past, and we want to make sure our customer service center representatives are sensitive to this,” Kevin Counihan, Access Health CT’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. He said the fact that Maximus is working with several other states, including New York, on health care exchange matters “is a big advantage.”
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In 2007, then-Attorney General Richard Blumenthal sued Maximus for breach of contract. He said the company failed to provide the state with a functioning computer system used by law enforcement to access criminal justice information and conduct immediate background checks. During the system’s testing period, state officials found 821 bugs and Blumenthal said Maximus failed to fix nearly half of them.
By 2010, the state reached a $2.5 million settlement with Maximus and a subcontractor, resolving the dispute involving the computer system upgrade work.