AP NEWS

KanCare enrollment begins while Amerigroup contract pending

October 2, 2018

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Enrollment has begun for Kansas’ privatized Medicaid program, leaving 125,000 residents covered by Amerigroup uncertain as the provider sues the state over its contract.

Kansas residents who receive Medicaid services through Amerigroup can begin choosing a new plan for 2019 this month, the Kansas City Star reported. It’s unclear whether residents currently covered by Amerigroup will have an option to stay with the Virginia-based company.

Amerigroup sued the state this year after the health care provider wasn’t awarded a new contract for KanCare, the state’s Medicaid program. KanCare contracts are worth about $1 billion annually in state and federal money.

The company alleges that the bidding process is flawed.

Two hearings were held in Topeka last month over whether the state’s contracting process was legal, but a judge hasn’t yet issued a decision on the case.

Amerigroup had sought an injunction to prevent Kansas from moving forward with new contracts while the court challenge is ongoing. The request was denied, so the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is forging ahead.

According to the department’s enrollment website, Amerigroup’s tenure as a KanCare company will end Dec. 31.

Department spokeswoman Theresa Freed declined to comment on what would happen if Amerigroup wins its court challenge. She said new insurance will go into effect Jan. 1 and KanCare recipients have until April 4 to switch their selection.

Amerigroup spokeswoman Denise Malecki said the company “remains hopeful that the Court will soon render a decision which preserves the integrity of Kansas’ procurement process, and serves the best interest of Kansas’ taxpayers and Medicaid consumers.”

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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