News Column

Molina to Assume N.M. Medicaid Contract

July 5, 2013

Molina Healthcare of New Mexico will become the state's largest Medicaid managed-care company Aug. 1 when it assumes the Lovelace Community Health Plan's Medicaid managed-care contract with the state Human Services Department.

Molina and Lovelace, a subsidiary of Lovelace Health System, announced Wednesday that they have a deal to transfer Lovelace's 84,000 Medicaid members to Molina, which serves 91,000 Medicaid members. The combined 175,000 members will put Molina ahead of Presbyterian Healthcare, which has 167,000 Medicaid members.

Presbyterian also insures more than 200,000 commercial and Medicare customers.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and neither Molina nor Lovelace would elaborate on a prepared statement they issued. The statement does not say what will happen to Lovelace employees who serve Medicaid members.

Lovelace lost a bid to provide Medicaid managed care under a new $4 billion state contract that takes effect Jan. 1. HSD chose Molina, Presbyterian, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and UnitedHealthcare Community Health Plan of New Mexico to manage Medicaid care for an estimated 700,000 people.

This includes several thousand adults who will become eligible for Medicaid for the first time, thanks to the federal Affordable Care Act. Medicaid plan members will choose which plan to join when the new contract, known as Centennial Care, takes effect.

Lovelace Health System CEO Ron Stern said his company wanted to assure its Medicaid members continuity of care after the new contract begins.

"This partnership will provide high-quality care for our Medicaid members without disruption in service or benefits," Stern said. "These members will continue to have access to Lovelace providers, medical staff, Lovelace Retail Pharmacies and Lovelace's network of hospitals even after Centennial Care takes effect in 2014."

Molina and Lovelace will notify Lovelace's current Medicaid members by letter of their transition.


(c)2013 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)

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Source: Copyright Albuquerque Journal (NM) 2013

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