Texas Medicaid managed care procurement updates: STAR Health Draft RFP, STAR Kids ACO RFI


Eli Kirshbaum


As it prepares to procure new managed care contracts for its Medicaid programs over the next few years, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has taken various preliminary steps to prepare for the process.


Stay one step ahead. Join our email list for the latest news.



STAR Health

Earlier this month, HHSC released the draft request for proposal (RFP) for its upcoming STAR Health managed care procurement.

Texas’s STAR Health managed care program, which provides coverage to homeless youth and young adults, is currently contracted to Centene/Superior. Following this month’s release of the draft RFP for the new contract, HHSC plans to release the official RFP on Oct. 25 and award a contract in June 2022. Implementation will begin between Sept. and Nov. 2023. 


While considerable time remains before the planned early 2023 release date for its STAR Kids managed care RFP, HHSC last month released a request for information (RFI) to collect stakeholder feedback about the efficacy of using accountable care organizations (ACOs) and other managed care arrangements in the program. STAR Kids serves disabled Texans aged 20 and under.

The RFI contains questions within seven subject areas, including ACO payment structure and claims and data collection. It encourages “parties with direct experience in the subject matter” to submit responses via email to Valerie Griffin by Sept. 27.

HHSC will use the information it receives to determine whether or not it will use such an alternative care model for children enrolled in the STAR Kids program. After releasing the official RFP for the program in the beginning of 2023, HHSC intends to award the contract between Sept. and Nov. 2023. Implementation is slated for between Dec. 2024 and Feb. 2025.

Superior, Amerigroup, Aetna, Cook Children’s Health Plan, Texas Children’s Health Plan, UnitedHealthcare, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, and Driscoll Health Plan are all currently contracted to provide the STAR Kids program.


The state recently opened an invitation for public comment on the Best Value Criteria for assessing bids for its upcoming STAR+PLUS managed care procurement. STAR+PLUS serves Texans who are disabled or over 65. Amerigroup, Cigna, Centene, Molina, and UnitedHealthcare are currently contracted to provide the program.

This public comment period ends Sept. 17, and HHSC intends to release the official STAR+PLUS RFP between Dec. 2021 and Feb. 2022. Contracts will be awarded between Sept. and Nov. 2022 and implementation is set for between Sept. and Nov. 2023.


HHSC announced this week it will be holding a series of “pre-solicitation meetings” for managed care organizations interested in submitting a bid for its upcoming STAR CHIP vendor procurement. It intends to release the program’s official RFP between Sept. and Nov. 2022, award the contract between March and May 2023, and implement the new contract between June and Aug. 2024. 

This program currently has 14 vendors throughout the state, including Superior, Molina Healthcare, Aetna, and Amerigroup.