VIDEO: TakeCare COO Larsen – “We Had This Business Before and We Are Very Familiar With the Process”

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Guam – Takecare Insurance COO Jeffrey Larsen takes exception to SelectCare Plan Administer Frank Campillo suggestion that TakeCare did not comply with all the requirements of the RFP for the GovGuam Health Insurance contract.

In the wake of the cancellation of that RFP Friday, Campillo told PNC News Monday that “if companies have deficiencies in their RFPs they should not be allowed to participate in the process” adding “its not an easy process” and sometimes there is a learning curve a bidder must go through before achieving a defect free bid.

Here’s how TakeCare’s Larsen responded:

“I’m not sure what he’s referring to in terms of a learning curve, but whatever that might be I would say that we’ve sufficiently crossed that learning curve and we are qualified to be a provider for the government of Guam and offer choice and options to the government of Guam employees.”

Campillo suggested that just as it took them 7 years before the Federal government accepted its bid to provide health plans to Federal employees on island , it might take TakeCare a while before its bids meet the requirements set by GovGuam for insuring its employees.

But Larsen countered “I would remind you that we had this business prior to 2003 and so we are very familiar with the process. We look at the GovGuam account every year and we determine if it really is an account that we want to go after and we looked at it this year and it made sense for us to pursue that business.”

The RFP for the GovGuam health insurance contract, pegged at $71 million , was canceled last Friday after three bidders filed protests with the Department of Administration.

TakeCare was the first to file a protest on August 8, after its invitation to negotiate was canceled. SelectCare filed its own protest soon after claiming that the offers from two other insurance providers were deemed non-responsive but were allowed to “unlawfully modify their proposals after the deadline had already passed.” Staywell then filed a protest to preserve its position in light of the protests already made.

DOA Director Benita Manglona says the RFP will be reissued but not until the agency makes some changes to its procurement process policies. Manglona said DOA will be working with a consultant and with the Attorney General on the issuance of a new RFP.

“The insurance industry is very competitive and I understand what Frank’s trying to accomplish in his statements, but the bottom line is that we were invited to be responsive and frankly the other company–and we posted this out on our website–but theirs was material non responsive issues,” Larsen said. “TakeCare’s issues were points of clarification which frankly could’ve been handled in the negotiating process.”

The current health insurance contract, which covers about 12 thousand GovGuam employees and retirees, is set to expire on Sept. 30, but Manglona says the contract will stay in place until a new RFP is issued and the new health insurance contract is awarded.