The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) upheld a decision to award a $3.1 billion Tricare dental plan contract to a different insurer, its first change in 15 years.
Tricare Management Activity agency at the U.S. Department of Defense decided to give New York, N.Y.-based Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. a $3.1 billion dental plan contract rather than United Concordia Cos., based in Harrisburg, Pa.
Tricare managers decided that the MetLife provider network suited the military insurance program better than United Concordia’s network, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported.
United Concordia, a division of Pittsburgh, Pa.-based Highmark, was the Tricare dental program provider for 15 years.
The division offered a fixed-price bid of $3.23 billion covering the next five years, while MetLife’s bid was $3.09 billion, the newspaper reported.
United Concordia challenged decision by arguing that it deserved bonus points for being the “incumbent contractor” because a “change in contractors may require beneficiaries to change [dental care] providers,” according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
The GAO denied the protest.
United Concordia said in a statement that it is disappointed that the company’s protest was not successful, but will do its best to provide high-quality service during the transition period, which will last until mid-2012, the newspaper reported.
About 200 United Concordia employees are employed through the Tricare contract, which provides dental services to about 2 million military members, retirees, reservists and their families.
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- Big Change After 15 Years...
Somewhat predictable though…