Aetna, Health Net, Sierra Oppose Decisions on Tricare Contracts
Aetna, Health Net and Sierra Health Services are objecting to the federal government's decisions in awarding Tricare contracts, the Hartford Courant reports (Levick, Hartford Courant, 9/16). Tricare, the managed health care plan for 8.7 million U.S. military personnel, veterans and their families, last month was reorganized from 11 regions nationwide to three regions, each covered by a single health insurer. The Department of Defense awarded the Northern region to Woodland Hills-based Health Net, the South to Kentucky-based Humana and the West to Arizona-based TriWest Healthcare Alliance (California Healthline, 8/22). Aetna officials made an unsuccessful bid to cover the North and filed an appeal with the General Accounting Office after being debriefed about why their offer was denied. Company spokesperson Walt Cherniak declined to disclose the nature of the complaint. The GAO is expected to make a decision on the complaint by mid-December. Health Net officials made bids on all three regions and successfully gained a contract for the North. Despite the Defense Department's statement that it would not award more than one contract to a company, Health Net has decided to file an objection with the DOD to "protect [its] interests in the West and South," according to Jim Woys, president of Health Net Federal Services. Sierra, which currently serves Tricare patients in an area extending from New England to Virginia, also asked the GAO to review the award to Health Net. The new contracts are scheduled to last up to five years, and they are valued at about $6.4 billion in the first year (Hartford Courant, 9/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.