Court decision late Friday made contracting timeline impossible; action ensures no disruption of coverage for enrollees
The Minnesota Department of Human Services today told health plans it is cancelling its request for proposals for health coverage for families and children in 80 Greater Minnesota counties and seniors across the state. Instead, DHS will enter into negotiations to renew the current contracts for next year. The contracts cover an estimated 400,000 Minnesotans.
For more than a decade, DHS competitively bid health care contracts, which involves review by counties and the Minnesota Department of Health. Competitive bidding and other reforms saved the state more than $1 billion. In 2015, the Office of the Legislative Auditor reviewed the process and found it to be sound.
A court decision issued on Aug. 30 involving the state’s contracting for health care coverage made it impossible to complete contracts in time to avoid disruption for enrollees and to meet timelines required by law. This action ensures continuity of care and keeps DHS in compliance with federal law, according to Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead.
“DHS puts the care of Minnesotans first,” Commissioner Harpstead said. “This option is the least disruptive to enrollees and ensures we remain in compliance with federal law. It also gives us an opportunity to work with the Legislature to clarify aspects of the contracting process before we issue an RFP again.”