FRANKFORT — Gov. Andy Beshear’s administration announced Friday the state is rebidding its Medicaid managed care contracts, starting the process to select which health care companies can manage benefits for the state’s Medicaid enrollees.

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services says a request for proposals, or RFP, has been issued by the state Finance and Administration Cabinet. Current contracts with Aetna, Anthem Inc., Humana Inc., Passport Health Plan, and Wellcare expire on June 30.

This follows a decision by Beshear to cancel managed care contracts awarded during the waning days of the Bevin Administration. The initial contract award created public outcry from both lawmakers and health policy experts, who raised concerns about the timing of the awards, review process and bias regarding certain companies.

Beshear said transparency and accessibility of service are at the heart of the RFP.

“Health care is a basic human right. At the end of this process, we want Kentuckians to have confidence that contracts have been fairly reviewed and awarded." he said. “Ensuring openness and transparency are of the utmost concern as is making sure every Kentuckian has access to quality health care across the state.”

Acting Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander said rebidding managed care contracts is necessary for ensuring ready health care access for all Kentuckians and quality care.

“Medicaid provides health care coverage for over 1 million people in the Commonwealth,” he said. “We strongly feel the previous contract awards raised numerous questions and concerns regarding a program intended to protect the health and wellbeing of many of the most vulnerable Kentuckians. We look forward to a thorough and objective procurement process.”

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services says Managed Care is a health care delivery system designed to manage cost, utilization and quality.

Medicaid managed care provides for the delivery of Medicaid health benefits and additional services through contracts between Medicaid and the MCOs that accept a set per member, per month payment for these services. By contracting with MCOs to deliver Medicaid health care services, states can reduce Medicaid program costs and better manage utilization of health services. Improvement in health plan performance, health care quality and health outcomes are key objectives of Medicaid managed care.

The Cabinet says its goal is to select providers in the spring.

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