State officials have not yet given private Medicaid operators permission to do business in the Louisville area, but that hasn't stopped one company from trying to make inroads. Currently, Passport Health Plan runs Medicaid in and around Louisville. The federal government has ordered the state to open the region to competition, but the area remains closed. In anticipation of a change, United Healthcare recently sent letters to dental centers in the area, encouraging them to sign up with United once the state allows outside companies to begin operations.
United officials say the letter is just preparation to serve more Kentucky patients. "Our understanding from information in the public domain, is that the Commonwealth of Kentucky is considering a change to its Medicaid program in Region 3. If a change in the region is made and an opportunity to serve the Medicaid population becomes available to United Healthcare, we are preparing to provide Medicaid beneficiaries with the same kind of quality healthcare programs and services received by our current 360,000 United Healthcare members in the state," Molly McMillen, United's director of public relations, said in a statement. State officials declined to say whether they were aware of United's actions. Instead they say anyone anticipating more competition in the region is relying on speculation.