Type of site
|Health insurance marketplace|
|Owner||U.S. Department of Health and Human Services|
|Launched||October 1, 2013|
HealthCare.gov (Spanish: CuidadodeSalud.gov) is a health insurance exchange website operated under the United States federal government under the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, often referred to simply as 'ACA' or 'Obamacare'), which currently serves the residents of the U.S. states which have opted not to create their own state exchanges.[better source needed] The exchange facilitates the sale of private health insurance plans to residents of the United States and offers subsidies to those who earn between one and four times the federal poverty line, but not to those earning less than the federal poverty line. The website also assists those persons who are eligible to sign up for Medicaid, and has a separate marketplace for small businesses.
The October 1, 2013 roll-out of HealthCare.gov went through as planned, despite the concurrent partial government shutdown. However, the launch was marred by serious technological problems, making it difficult for the public to sign up for health insurance. The deadline to sign up for coverage that would begin January 2014 was December 23, 2013, by which time the problems had largely been fixed. The open enrollment period for 2016 coverage ran from November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016. State exchanges also have had the same deadlines; their performance has been varied.
The design of the website was overseen by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and built by a number of federal contractors, most prominently CGI Group of Canada. The original budget for CGI was $93.7 million, but this grew to $292 million prior to launch of the website. While estimates that the overall cost for building the website had reached over $500 million prior to launch and in early 2014 HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said there would be "approximately $834 million on Marketplace-related IT contracts and interagency agreements," the Office of Inspector General released a report in August 2014 finding that the total cost of the HealthCare.gov website had reached $1.7 billion and a month later, including costs beyond "computer systems," Bloomberg News estimated it at $2.1 billion. On July 30, 2014, the Government Accountability Office released a non-partisan study that concluded the administration did not provide "effective planning or oversight practices" in developing the HealthCare.gov website.
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