HealthCare.gov gets new security measures, contractor

Public frustration with HealthCare.gov continues after the government took steps last week to strengthen its security and replace the lead contractor responsible for the handling of the problem-plagued health reform website after the Oct. 1 launch.

Fox News reports that the White House is cutting ties with contractor CGI Federal and will award a new contract to Accenture. CGI's contract is up at the end of February and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid decided not to renew it in the wake of criticism over the technical glitches that dogged the website during its rollout.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives passed a bill to boost security for HealthCare.gov Friday. The bill requires the government to alert users within two days of any data breach that involves their personal information, according to FierceHealthIT.

During the vote, Republican members of Congress harped on the importance of the bill, while Democratic representatives dubbed it "merely a scare tactic to keep people from getting healthcare."

But as lawmakers and the Obama administration take action on the website, many consumers expressed displeasure with coverage plans offered under the Affordable Care Act, as well as experiences with HealthCare.gov. A Commonwealth Fund survey indicated that consumers are disappointed with plan choices available on the website.

Although the survey showed improvement in a consumer's ability to compare plans and premiums, 58 percent of respondents still had trouble finding affordable plans and 60 percent called it impossible, very difficult or somewhat difficult to find coverage meeting their needs. And despite improvements in HealthCare.gov's front-end functionality since its launch, 69 percent of respondents described their marketplace experience as fair or poor.    

Meanwhile, consumers attempting to navigate the Spanish version of HealthCare.gov are discovering their own set of problems, according to The Sacramento Bee. The site, CuidadoDeSalud.gov, launched two months later than planned. And after the launch, users that accessed a Web page with Spanish instructions were linked to an English form. Critics also complained that translations were full of grammar errors. Even the name of the site is problematic. The literal translation of the name could be read "for the caution of health."

To learn more:
- here's the Fox News article
- read The Sacramento Bee piece

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