9/11 health insurance provider losing contract

A company that manages health care benefits for 9/11 workers and others for the Department of Homeland Security is losing its contract, according to a federal official.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Friday awarded coverage to the Corporation for National and Community Service, according to a federal official familiar with the decision. The official, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, spoke on condition of anonymity.

Envision Healthcare Corp., which provides about 180,000 current and former 9/11 responders, firefighters and others with health care coverage, had been awarded a National Institutes of Health contract earlier this year for health research. The company had also shared DHS contracts for 7,500 civilian workers and contractors who handled patient records.

Congress amended the Homeland Security authorization bill earlier this year to give CMS the authority to terminate the governmentwide contracts if they are terminated for “good cause.”

CDC contracting officer Shirley Baumgartner told the New York Times that CMS reached out to Envision and gave Envision 10 days to respond. The company has not issued a public statement.

Coverage for those federal employees will continue after October 26, according to a memo obtained by The New York Times, a move that “will be greatly appreciated by the individuals and families affected by these cuts.”

The memo noted that before Envision’s coverage became available, some employees were switching back to Medicare and many others were caring for their own physical and mental health issues, the Times reported.

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