Charleston, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia has found a new manager for the health benefits of 36,000 of its public retirees.
Humana Inc. will take over the state's medicare advantage program from coventry health care on Jan 1.
The Public Employees Insurance Agency announced its selection of the Kentucky-based health insurer on Wednesday.
West Virginia has saved more than $100 million since 2007 by switching retirees to this privately-run portion of the government health program for seniors.
But coventry announced earlier this year it would withdraw from the market in 2010, in advance of expected drops in refund rates from the federal government.
PEIA estimates that continuing medicare advantage for at least one more year will save another $6 million to $8 million.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)