By Associated Press - Friday, May 29, 2020

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Five insurance companies were awarded contracts worth nearly $8 billion a year to manage most of Kentucky’s Medicaid business, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Friday.

Landing the contracts were Aetna, Humana, Molina Healthcare, UnitedHealthcare and WellCare, Beshear said. About 1.4 million people in Kentucky receive health coverage through Medicaid.

The Democratic governor refers to health care as a “basic human right.” He said Friday that ensuring coverage for Medicaid recipients is “of the utmost importance to my administration.”

“As we move forward, we must continue to provide equal access for every Kentuckian who needs quality care,” Beshear said.

Aetna, Humana and WellCare hold existing contracts with the state, he said.

Beshear ordered a new round of bidding for the contracts after he took office late last year. The new contracts take effect in January. The initial term is through the end of 2024, but the state may extend the contracts, the governor’s office said.

Two companies currently holding contracts that were passed over during the latest round of bids were Louisville-based Passport Health Plan and Anthem.

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