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Article updated: 11/9/2012 4:58 PM

Illinois selects 8 managed care companies

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By Associated Press

Eight managed care companies have been selected to coordinate the health care of an estimated 136,000 high-cost Illinois patients who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services announced the contracts Friday. Agency Director Julie Hamos says managed care can provide better outcomes at lower costs for the patients known as "dual eligibles." The contracts are subject to federal approval.

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In the Chicago area, the state selected Aetna Better Health, IlliniCare Health Plan, Meridian Health Plan of Illinois, HealthSpring of Illinois, Humana Health Plan and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois.

For central Illinois, the state chose Molina Healthcare of Illinois and Health Alliance Medical Plans.

State law requires at least half of Illinois Medicaid recipients be moved into managed care by 2015.

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