A managed care giant is working with a smaller competitor to woo the U.S. Department of Defense.

UnitedHealth Group Inc., Minnetonka, Minn., says its new military and veterans health services unit will be teaming with the federal services arm of Health Net Inc., Woodland Hills, Calif., to bid for TriCare contracts.

TriCare is a Defense Department program that administers health coverage for 9.1 million military personnel, retirees and dependents.

Health Net already has the TriCare contract for the TriCare North region, which provides coverage for 3 million people.

UnitedHealth recently has been advertising an opening for a new government programs director position.

The ideal candidate for the position should have military or veterans health experience as well as general managed care experience, according to UnitedHealth.