BOSTON, March 18 (UPI) -- Massachusetts officials fired the contractor for the state's broken online healthcare exchange and will search for a new vendor, the state healthcare czar said.
Sarah Iselin said Monday state officials have started the negotiations process and hoped there would be a "very careful transition" from CGI to the next contractor, the Boston Herald reported.
Iselin said the goal is to have the website working by the fall, a full year after its initial launch. Numerous glitches forced the state's Health Connector to use paper applications to enroll people in health coverage.
Hundreds of employees at Optum, a technology firm hired to manage enrollment problems, have been going through a backlog of applications, now at 21,000, down from 72,000 about a month ago, the Herald said.
The federal deadline for enrolling in health insurance plans for 2014 is March 31.
"We think we're going to be caught up well before the end of the month," Iselin said. "We don't expect to fall behind again."