CLAYTON, Mo. — The U.S. Department of Defense on Thursday bypassed Centene Corp. (NYSE: CNC) in awarding $136 billion in contracts for the health insurance provided to active-duty military members, a blow to the Clayton giant and St. Louis’ largest public company by revenue, which has long held some of the work.
The Defense Health Agency said it was awarding the TRICARE contract for its west region to TriWest Healthcare Alliance of Phoenix, owned by Blue Cross Blue Shield nonprofits including Blue Shield of California, Regence Blue Shield and BCBS of Arizona, along with the University of Colorado Hospital Authority and the University of New Mexico Hospital.
The $65.1 billion contract, held by Centene for years through its Health Net Federal Services subsidiary, includes a 12-month transition-in period plus eight one-year option periods, a Defense Department spokesman said. The west includes 1.5 million beneficiaries in Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin.