Tennessee extends Medicaid contracts without Centene

Tennessee has extended three managed Medicaid contracts with UnitedHealthcare, BCBS and Elevance's Amerigroup for one additional year, the Tennessee Lookout reported Nov. 15.

The extension comes after some Republican state legislators, including House Speaker Cameron Sexton, pushed to award Centene a Medicaid contract following the company's failure to win one during the state's previous bidding process in 2021.

BCBS, UnitedHealthcare and Amerigroup held the previous contracts before 2021, and won renewed contracts that year. After Centene did not win a contract in 2021, the company appealed and sued the state, which is still ongoing in court. The state chose to extend the pre-2021 contracts instead of entering into the new contracts because of the lawsuit, according to the report.

"If we didn't have the protest, if we weren't in court, we would be entering the third year of the [new] contract," TennCare Director Stephen Smith told the Lookout.

Elevance is rebranding Amerigroup Tennessee to Wellpoint in 2024.

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