The Government Accountability Office has upheld a protest by Humana over a multibillion-dollar military health insurance contract awarded to competitor UnitedHealth Group in July. The Defense Department will now review the GAO recommendations and decide how to proceed.
GAO upholds Humana protest of Tricare contract
Humana had appealed Tricare's decision to award the six-year South Region contract to UnitedHealth Group, arguing that the program used different criteria in selecting the winning insurer than outlined in its request for proposals.
Health Net and UnitedHealth Group also filed protests with the GAO over the Tricare contract awards, which total $55.5 billion. Health Net lost its contract to cover the North Region, and UnitedHealth lost a bid to provide coverage to the West Region. The GAO has not yet ruled on those protests. The new insurance contracts were supposed to begin in April 2010, but all transition was frozen until the appeals process runs its course. Only then will a 10-month transition period begin, a Tricare spokesman said. Tricare covers about 9.4 million active-duty military, their families and retirees.
“We will continue to participate in the process as the Department of Defense determines how to implement GAO's recommendations,” Lori McDougal, CEO of UnitedHealth Military and Veterans Services, said in a statement.
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