Health insurer drops lawsuit against Minnesota

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Health insurance company U Care is dropping a lawsuit it filed against Minnesota this summer.

U Care sued over the competitive bidding process the state used in awarding contracts to cover Minnesotans enrolled in public health insurance programs. The company argued it was unfairly excluded from providing insurance through MinnesotaCare and Medical Assistance.

The Star Tribune reports U Care said in a statement Friday that it still has concerns about that process but added: “We have decided to withdraw from litigation in the interests of allowing MinnesotaCare and [Medical Assistance] enrollees to go forward with their 2016 health plan selections without further delays or confusion.”

350,000 people changing insurance carriers

Under the bidding process used for the first time this year, Blue Cross Blue Shield won the contracts for the bulk of Minnesota's counties, with Health Partners and Medica claiming the rest, the Business Journal reports.

U Care did salvage the public insurance business in one county – Olmsted – which was restored to it on appeal, the Associated Press says.

But another 350,000 people who are insured through U Care this year must switch to other carriers for 2016. The Star Tribune says the loss of that much business makes job cuts likely at U Care.

State officials maintain the bidding process they used is fair and saved taxpayers money.

That position was reiterated Friday in a statement from Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson, who said “We appreciate that UCare recognized it’s time to move forward,” the Star Tribune reports.

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