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Release No: 926-03
December 09, 2003

GAO Upholds Government Tricare Award to HealthNet

            The Department of Defense announced today that on Dec. 5, 2003, it received notice that the General Accounting Office (GAO) upheld the award of the $2.3 billion Tricare Healthcare Services and Support Contract – North Region to Health Net Federal Services (Health Net) of Rancho Cordova, Calif.  The GAO decision was prompted by protests filed by the losing bidders, Sierra Military Health Services Inc. and Aetna Government Health Plans.

            “We are pleased that the GAO decision validates the integrity and diligence that exemplified our selection process,” said Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of defense for health affairs.  “We are proceeding with our contract transition, and we look forward to implementing our new Tricare contracts in 2004.  I assure our uniformed services beneficiaries that DoD and the outgoing and incoming contractors will meet beneficiaries’ healthcare needs, and that we will closely manage the transition to avoid disruption of services.”


            The North Region contract is one of three regional Tricare contracts awarded and will deliver health care services and support for five years for approximately 2.3 million Tricare beneficiaries.  Services include: establishing and managing a provider network; enrolling beneficiaries in Tricare Prime; processing healthcare claims; educating providers and beneficiaries about the Tricare program; and operating local Tricare Service Centers.


            The North Region covers the geographical region consisting of the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia, as well as the Fort Campbell military treatment facility catchment (healthcare delivery) area of Tennessee, the Scott Air Force Base catchment area of Missouri, the Rock Island Arsenal clinic coverage area that extends into Iowa, and the District of Columbia.

            The transition to HealthNet is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2004, in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Southern Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin, and on Sep. 1, 2004, in Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Northern Virginia.

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