NEW YORK (AP) -- Health insurer Aetna Inc. is protesting a new decision by Ohio authorities that excludes Aetna from state Medicaid contracts.
Earlier this month the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said it had reversed an earlier decision on appeal, awarding contracts to Centene Corp. and Molina Healthcare Inc. instead of Aetna Better Health and Meridian Health Plan. The initial contracts were awarded in April. Centene, Molina and three other companies that did not win contracts protested the decision. As a result, the department changed its scoring system for the proposals and changed the awards.
Aetna said Friday that it is asking to be reinstated. It said the department had undisclosed discussions with another bidder after the protest period ended. It said the competitor "made a number of false and misleading statements about Aetna's Medicaid managed care experience" and Aetna didn't have a chance to respond to those statements. It said that was a violation of the terms of Ohio's request for proposals and state law.
Aetna said it has 25 years of experience in the Medicaid business and there are "significant legal issues in the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services' decision to cancel its original contract award to Aetna."
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said it was reviewing Aetna's letter and had no further comment.
Shares of Aetna dipped 51 cents to $40.99.