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Arkansas lawmakers approve contract in attempt to lower insurance costs

Arkansas lawmakers and officials from the Employee Benefits Division are revisiting the state’s health insurance plan for retired employees and public school employees. A contract negotiated between the Employee Benefits Division and United Healthcare was approved Wednesday by a legislative subcommittee that oversees the division.

Jake Bleed, director of the Employee Benefits Division, said United Healthcare was one of three companies to apply for the bid by the state. He says after winning the bidding process, which has to follow state laws, the division was able to negotiate a contract they were satisfied with.

“We really strengthened some of the performance guarantees and some of the other aspects of the contract to make sure the vendor we selected was really held to a high standard, and was going to be responsible to the needs of our members and to the expectations of the General Assembly,” Bleed said.

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