In the latest chapter of a nearly 2-year-old saga, UnitedHealthcare is protesting the Defense Department's decision to reverse course and award a multibillion-dollar insurance contract to competitor Humana.
UnitedHealthcare fights Tricare decision
Last month, Tricare Management Activity, which oversees health services for active duty military, retirees and their families, awarded a contract to provide health services to 3 million soldiers and families in an 11-state Southern region to Humana Military Healthcare Services.
The contract of five one-year terms is worth up to $23.5 billion.
Tricare had originally awarded the contract to UnitedHealthcare’s military division in July 2009. But Humana—the incumbent and losing bidder—filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office. The GAO sided with Humana in October 2009.
“The Department of Defense got it right nearly two years ago when it awarded the Tricare contract to UnitedHealthcare based on quality, value, innovation and price,” Lori McDougal, CEO of UnitedHealthcare’s military division, said in a statement.
The formal protest by the Minnetonka, Minn.-based insurer alleges that Humana’s bid includes provider discounts that are significantly below Medicare rates and will drive providers out of the Tricare network. UnitedHealthcare’s protest triggers a hold on the contract award.
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