TriWest grasps for Tricare military insurance contract

TriWest Healthcare Alliance is fighting for its life, hoping to regain a contract with Tricare to provide health insurance to military personnel, reported USA Today. After filing a protest with the Government Accountability Office in March, in which TriWest said the Tricare contract evaluation process was "flawed and unfair," it now has launched a widespread ad campaign criticizing UnitedHealth, which won the $17 billion contract. TriWest placed ads in several national publications, including USA Today, and bought billboards at the Pentagon subway station that list UnitedHealth's past lawsuits. TriWest also asked several members of Congress to write to the Department of Defense to question why the decision was made. Additionally, TriWest created a website, www.savemymilitaryhealthcare.com, comparing its record with that of UnitedHealth. "We believe the people who will be affected should see their record," TriWest CEO Dave McIntyre said.

Meanwhile, UnitedHealth defended its track record as "excellent" and said it wouldn't engage in negative campaigning against a competitor. "While TriWest resorts to rhetoric, we've been focused on putting our experience and resources to work on the needs of the Tricare beneficiaries," UnitedHealth spokesman Matt Stearns told USA Today. The GAO is expected to issue its opinion July 5. Article

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