Connecticut to Share Its Obamacare Computer Code

Apr 7, 2014

Credit Michael Himbeault / Creative Commons

Connecticut's Obamacare enrollment website did well enough this year to attract the interest of other states. Officials from Access Health CT said they are finalizing a deal with the state of Maryland to share computer code.

Connecticut has tried to market its services to other states.

The board that runs Maryland's insurance marketplace recently voted to scrap the enrollment system it used for the first round of the Affordable Care Act. Kevin Counihan runs Connecticut's exchange. "They're essentially asking for the use of our computer code, which was used to establish the portal and the back office of the exchange," Counihan said of what Maryland is looking to do. "That code is paid for by federal dollars and, as a result, it's available to any state for free."

Counihan said that Maryland is planning to hire Deloitte -- the same contractor that built the code for Connecticut -- to take the code and develop it for Maryland to use.

"There's obviously a very tight time frame from here to November," Counihan said. "Considering that testing has to start occurring by August, they really need this thing built by July. There's going to be a lot of pressure on Deloitte and on the state to get that up and running."

Based on its own success in the first enrollment period, Connecticut has tried to market its services to other states. In this case, it's only sharing its computer code. Counihan hopes eventually to sell what he calls an "Exchange in a Box" to other states, allowing them to buy everything from software to consulting services. But that likely won't happen until the 2016 enrollment period.

"We've been contacted by two other states over the past couple of weeks about potential work in 2016, because 2015 - it's just too late now to do anything," Counihan said. "So we'll see where that leads."

Counihan said the final details with Maryland are still being worked out. He also said the state will assist if needed.