HHS Extends Contract With Company Hosting Healthcare.gov Through March 31

The contract with Verizon Communications Inc.'s Terremark subsidiary, which hosts healthcare.gov, had been set to expire March 30, the day before the end of open enrollment. The move comes even though the government has already hired another firm to take over the work.

The Wall Street Journal: Government Extends HealthCare.gov Contract For Verizon's Terremark
The Department of Health and Human Services extended its contract with Verizon Communications Inc.'s Terremark subsidiary as the web-hosting provider for the federal health-insurance marketplace, HealthCare.gov. The extension means that the government won't attempt to move the website to its new hosting provider, Hewlett-Packard Co., while the insurance enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act is still open through the end of March (Ante, 3/7). 

Reuters: U.S. Extends Terremark Contract As HealthCare.gov Host
The Obama administration said on Friday Verizon Communications Inc's Terremark unit will remain under contract as host of the federal website HealthCare.gov to better ensure a smooth end to Obamacare's open enrollment period on March 31. Terremark's contract with the Department of Health and Human Services was due to expire on March 30, the day before the end of open enrollment for 2014, a time when high daily volumes are expected as consumers from 36 states rush to use the website to sign up for subsidized private health insurance (3/7).

The Washington Post's Wonkblog: CMS Awarded $58M To Healthcare.Gov Firm It Already Fired
The Obama administration has awarded a contract extension to a Healthcare.gov vendor, months after federal health officials had selected another firm to replace it. According to a posting on the main federal contracting Web site Thursday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Verizon Terremark signed a contract extension in late January for cloud computing services, even though the federal agency overseeing HealthCare.gov had already selected HP Enterprise Services last July to take over the work (Millman, 3/7). 

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