St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Governor Mark Dayton says Minnesota’s first statewide competitive bidding process for managed care contracts covering people enrolled in the state’s Medicaid and MinnesotaCare programs saved taxpayers almost $650 million.

A statement issued by the governor’s office says about $450 million came from contracting reforms, while a settle up provision allowed the Minnesota Department of Human Services to recoup about $200 million in unspent health insurance dollars connected to the lower-than-expected costs of providing healthcare to over 800,000 Minnesotans.

Much of the savings will have to be returned to the federal government, which funds the Medicaid program, but the state is expected to keep about $250 million.

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