The CMS has agreed to a 5 year, $563 million contract with Accenture who will provide the maintenance, technical support, and software development for Healthcare.gov. The contract has one base year with 4 annual extension options.
Accenture has over 500 workers already dedicated to support eligibility and enrollment functions, and generation and transmission of enrollment forms. It signed with the CMS for $90 million to fix the botched first enrollment period. At that time, CGI group managed healthcare.gov, and created a public relations nightmare for the Obama administration. The three-year contract CGI signed with the CMS to develop healthcare.gov was not renewed when it expired at the end of February 2014.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 9 million Americans will use the online marketplace to find their healthcare insurance during the second enrollment period; up from under 7 million in the first enrollment period. That number of Americans is expected to continue increasing; the office estimated 25 million by 2018.
For Accenture, the large contract can only help in negotiating further contracts. The predicted increases in traffic on the Federal Facilitated Marketplace will cause growth Accenture’s revenue as well, and gives a strong bargaining point with increased consumer volume.