United Healthcare must decide whether to take the Jindal administration to court in its bid to manage state employee health plans.
“(The) next steps are still to be determined. We are assessing all options,” said Elizabeth Calzadilla-Fiallo, the company’s public relations director for the Florida and Gulf States region, Tuesday by email.
Filing a lawsuit is the only remedy left after two Jindal administration officials rejected United Healthcare’s protest of losing a state contract to another company. United Healthcare claims it was the least-expensive bidder.
Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater, the governor’s chief budget adviser, recently upheld a decision to give Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana the job of serving as administrator of state health plans covering more than 200,000 people.
Both United Healthcare and Humana also wanted the job, which stands to generate $37.8 million a year for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. A panel of state officials selected Blue Cross.
United Healthcare first protested Blue Cross’ hiring to the Office of Group Benefits.
OGB provides health and life insurance to about a quarter-million current and retired state employees and dependents.
Blue Cross will be providing services handled by more than 100 state workers at the Office of Group Benefits, resulting in the elimination of those jobs.
Among a host of objections, United Healthcare cited a flawed analysis, objectionable scoring and an alleged favoritism shown Blue Cross.
The company said Blue Cross was allowed to amend its proposal hours before the award was issued.
Charles D. Calvi Jr., OGB’s chief executive officer, rejected United Healthcare’s complaints, accusing the company of presenting a self-serving and incomplete picture of the facts.
United Healthcare’s next remedy was to turn to Rainwater, who reviewed Calvi’s decision.
In his response, which United Healthcare released Tuesday, Rainwater explained how Blue Cross was chosen.
He said companies were awarded a possible 500 points for cost and 500 points for technical qualities.
In the scoring, Blue Cross received 920 points and United Healthcare received 899 points, Rainwater said.
Rainwater said there were problems with United Healthcare’s submission despite clear and unambiguous directions.
He said the company reviewing the applications did seek clarification from Blue Cross on a point involving the company’s disease management program but no amendment was made.
Rainwater concluded his six-page response by informing United Healthcare of its right to appeal to the 19th Judicial District.
“The protest decision is affirmed,” he wrote.