Optum, the UnitedHealthcare subsidiary appointed to fix HealthCare.gov after its troubled launch, will not rebid for a $40 billion contract.
Optum, the division of United Healthcare tasked with overhauling HealthCare.gov in 2013, has announced that it will not submit a rebid for the $40 million per year contract so that it can pursue other ventures.
The company reported that it had stabilized Healthcare.gov's forward-facing infrastructure.
“Having achieved the goal of making HealthCare.gov a stable and reliable platform for people seeking coverage, Optum will not rebid to continue the role of senior advisor,” said spokesman Matt Stearns to The Wall Street Journal. Optum is “confident that HealthCare.gov will remain a stable and reliable platform” once the contract is over.
Optum was one of several dozen contractors that worked on HealthCare.gov before the site’s launch in October 2013. After the site suffered severe problems in the early days, Optum was appointed to spearhead the reconstruction process and have the site working by Thanksgiving, 2013.
Optum’s contract is scheduled to end in July 2015, but the company says it may assist in the transition for a few more months. According to the WSJ, Optum will continue to operate the website’s data services hub and data management systems, and will work with states that operate their own public exchange websites.
The remaining challenges of the HealthCare.gov website are infrastructure problems, including back-end challenges that do not directly affect the consumer. These challenges include relaying sign-up information to insurance companies and state-run Medicaid programs.