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In an effort to strengthen its presence in Colo., health insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH - Analyst Report) announced its plans to recruit 230 employees in the region. 
 
These new appointments, which include UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans will serve the TRICARE West beneficiaries. 
 
TRICARE is a heath care program provided by the Department of Defense. It provides health care coverage for medical services, medications and dental care for military families and retirees. 
 
In Jul 2012, UnitedHealth was awarded a $20.5 billion contract to manage health care services in the TRICARE West region, which includes active military, retirees and their families in 21 states, mostly western states, including Alask., Ariz. and a part of Texas. 
 
The contract was originally awarded to TriWest Healthcare Alliance in 2009, but UnitedHealth appealed, and the contract was re-bid. UnitedHealth finally won the re-bid.
 
The contract will be effective on Apr 2013.  The contract will add 2.9 million members and an estimated $1.4 billion of revenue over the next five years.
 
The West region involves an estimated $20.5 billion of health care services that will be provided to beneficiaries over the next five years, beginning Apr 2013.
 
UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans will serve the Department of Defense as well as nearly 3 million active duty or retired military service personnel and their families.
 
Colo. offers an attractive market for UnitedHealth. Apart from being the second most populous city in the state of Colo. and the 41st most populous city in the United States, Colorado Springs is home to both Army and Air Force bases.
 
Another player, Humana Inc. (HUM - Analyst Report), also serves the TRICARE South region. 
 
UnitedHealth retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).Other stocks like Coventry Healthcare Inc. and CIGNA Corp. (CI - Analyst Report)  with a  Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) are worth considering.

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