June 18, 2012 | last updated June 18, 2012 3:52 pm

Miffed Aetna seeks to re-open Ohio Medicaid bidding

Hartford health insurer Aetna Inc. – which had its offer of an Ohio Medicaid contract yanked on June 7 – is attempting to re-open the protest period by arguing that state officials changed the rules mid-game, Columbus Business First reports.

At stake is billions' worth of business for private managed-care companies that would coordinate coverage for disabled and low-income Ohioans in the state-federal Medicaid program, the paper reports on bizjournals.com.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is consolidating patient populations, streamlining geographic regions and seeking private plans that will prod the population to stay healthy and reduce medical spending.

Aetna was one of five plans offered provisional contracts in April, but several losing applicants filed protests with the state – including two already working with Ohio's Medicaid population. Some of those protests singled out how Aetna's Medicaid experience in other states was scored.

The protests worked. The state on June 7 announced new winners, reinstating the two previously canceled plans – Long Beach, Calif.-based Molina Healthcare Inc. (NYSE:MOH) and St. Louis-based Centene Corp. (NYSE:CNC) – and withdrawing the offers to Ohio newcomers Aetna and the for-profit Medicaid specialist Meridian Health Plan in Detroit.

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