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A change in the way Tennessee awards contracts for its Medicaid program means that in 2015, folks on TennCare will get to choose among three providers instead of just two.

AmeriGroup, BlueCare Tennessee and UnitedHealthcare are the providers awarded three-year contracts for statewide service on Friday. Previously, Tennessee selected two managed-care organizations to serve each of the state's three grand regions.

Some 1.2 million Tennesseans rely on TennCare for health coverage.

The changes won't be rolled out until a year from now. The new contracts take effect Jan. 1, 2015, with full statewide implementation by the end of that year.

"TennCare is working with the health plans to ensure the transition will go as smoothly as possible for our members," said Darin Gordon, deputy commissioner of health care finance and administration. "Continuity of care is the utmost concern as we plan for implementation in 2015."

Each managed-care organization will be paid a monthly amount to manage and deliver health care to the people enrolled in its program. Each MCO has a total three-year contract of $3.77 billion. The total for all three contracts is $11.3 billion.

"We are pleased to continue our relationship with these three organizations," Gordon said. "All three managed-care organizations have proven their ability to efficiently administer our integrated benefit package of physical, behavioral and long-term care services and have shown each is willing to take additional steps to further improve quality and better align incentives for members and providers."

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