Contract awarded to manage WV foster kids’ health care

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia has awarded a contract to manage the health care for thousands of foster children.

The Department of Health and Human Resources says in a news release that Aetna Better Health of West Virginia has been awarded the $200 million contract.

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West Virginia’s foster care ranks have swelled to nearly 7,000 – an increase of more than 60 percent from 2015 – as the state grapples with an ongoing opioid addiction epidemic.

Lawmakers earlier this year passed a bill requiring DHHR to transfer children in foster care to a managed care organization after the Department of Justice threatened to sue the state over possible violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act within its foster system.