The Department of Defense (DoD) announced that UnitedHealth Group (UHG) will be the TRICARE managed care contractor for the 21-state West region that includes more than 2.9 million U.S. military beneficiaries, including service personnel, retirees and dependents.

UHG manages military health benefits through its UnitedHealth Military and Veterans unit.

UHG will replace TriWest Healthcare Alliance, a privately held company based in Phoenix, Ariz. TriWest had been the TRICARE managed care contractor since 1996 and includes a network of more than 170,000 providers. TriWest said it will appeal the decision and has filed a protest with the Government Accounting Office.

If TriWest’s appeal is unsuccessful, UHG will become the managed care contractor for the TRICARE West region effective April 1, 2013. The contract for the West region is worth up to $20.5 billion over the next five to six years as part of a series of five, one-year contract options.

The...

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