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Sierra Health Settles With Pentagon

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Sierra Health Services Inc. says it expects to get about $12 million in final payments in connection with its departure from the federal TriCare health program.[@@]

TriCare is a program that administers health coverage for military dependents, military retirees and some active-duty military personnel.

Sierra Health, Las Vegas, once administered health coverage for 710,000 TriCare program members. The start of the Iraq war increased TriCare enrollment, but the U.S. Department of Defense decided to drop Sierra Health from the TriCare program in 2003.

Sierra Health continues to provide or administer health coverage for 570,000 civilians, and losing the low-margin TriCare contract has improved its net income.

Final adjustments related to the loss of the contract should add a total net gain of about $10 million to second quarter earnings, Sierra Health says.