Source: KEVIN FREKING, ASSOCIATED PRESS, Thursday, December 1, 2005
Two weeks after being sued, the government said Thursday it put in place more safeguards to ensure that poor older people can fill their drug prescriptions on Jan. 1. In recent weeks, the government automatically has enrolled about 6 million people in private plans that will offer a new drug benefit under Medicare. The people in this category are called dual eligibles because they qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. Even if the government misses enrolling just 1 percent of them, that means about 60,000 people potentially would have no prescription drug coverage come the new year. To address that, federal officials said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has contracted with two companies. When a customer enters a store, pharmacists will check with one contractor – Z-Tech Corp. of Rockville, Md. – to determine the customer’s eligibility for drug coverage. The pharmacists can bill a second contractor, Wellpoint Inc. of Indianapolis, which will enlist the customer in one of its drug plans.
Source: Corrie MacLaggan, Austin AMERICAN-STATESMAN (TX), Friday, December 02, 2005
Colorado’s cancellation this week of a $10.5 million contract for voter registration software is raising concerns about Texas’ nearly $1 billion contract with the same company to enroll residents in public assistance. …. Accenture, a global consulting and technology firm, took over operation of Texas Children’s Health Insurance Program call centers Monday from Affiliated Computer Services Inc. It is expected to begin operating Texas’ eligibility call centers for food stamps and Medicaid in 2006. The Texas State Employees Union on Thursday urged state officials to delay implementing the contract.
Source: Associated Press (IN), November 18, 2005
Privatizing the state operations for determining who is eligible for food stamps, Medicaid and other welfare benefits will cost at least $1 billion, or more than twice the state’s largest currently active contract, the Daniels administration has told vendors. Such a contract would cover a term of five to seven years, state Family and Social Services Administration spokesman Dennis Rosebrough said today in confirming the potential size of the contract.