Humana, Coventry win state Medicaid contracts

Three private insurance companies have benefited from the federal government's involvement in a state Medicaid program.

After the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services told Kentucky officials it must provide more managed care choices to its Medicaid beneficiaries, the state awarded 18-month contracts to Coventry, Humana and Wellcare, Business First reported.

The three insurers will share the responsibility of providing benefits for about 175,000 Medicaid beneficiaries in 16 Kentucky counties with Passport Health Plan, which had been the only Medicaid provider in the area, reported the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Kentucky will assign Medicaid members to one of the four insurers using "a high-tech matching system" that incorporates available provider networks and special healthcare needs. The members will learn which insurer they've been assigned to by next month and will have 30 days to change their insurer, The Wall Street Journal reported.

In response to the new contracts, Passport said it will launch an advertising campaign to convince its current Medicaid members to stay with the company. "And if we retain a significant percentage of the population, it may not be necessary to have layoffs," said Passport CEO Mark Carter, the Courier-Journal noted.

To learn more:
- read the Louisville Courier-Journal article
- see the Business First article
- check out the Wall Street Journal article