Attorneys for UnitedHealthcare continued hammering away at the state’s award of an employee benefits contract to a competitor, saying Wednesday that it was a deeply flawed bidding process that needs to be redone.
“This process has been an embarrassment to our state [and] to our governor,’’ said Randy Evans of McKenna, Long & Aldridge.
The contracting process that awarded the State Health Benefit Plan contract showed bias and was “flawed beyond repair,’’ Evans said.
United currently holds the SHBP contract, along with Cigna, which has also protested the award.
Blue Cross, though, emphasized in the two-day hearing that its contract will save the state more than $1.5 billion. United’s bid was simply too high, said Dan Hofmeister of Reed Smith, representing Blue Cross.
“They are the incumbent. They want to keep the contract,” Hofmeister said of United. “They’re grasping; they’re desperate.’’ He called United’s claims of fraud “absurd.’’
The two-day Atlanta hearing on United’s appeal comes just days before open enrollment begins for the SHBP, which covers more than 650,000 state employees, schoolteachers, other school personnel, retirees and dependents. full story