Computer woes blamed for idle health care workers

WENTZVILLE, Mo. (AP) — The federal government agency that oversees applications for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act says that the computer problems which plagued early sign-ups are to blame for problems at a suburban St. Louis processing center.

Media reports in mid-May quoted current and ex-employees of the Serco Inc. office in Wentzville as saying work was so scarce that they sometimes played board games, read books or slept while on the clock.

A spokesman for the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (bit.ly/SOel30 ) that Serco's workers "experienced the same tech issues that were widely reported last fall with healthcare.gov." The center says those problems have since been largely resolved.

The British company could receive up to $1.25 billion to process applications through the new federal law.

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