Minnetonka-based UnitedHealthcare is adding more than 100 jobs as the health insurer this summer becomes third-party administrator at the health plan for state government workers in West Virginia.

The five-year contract will pay UnitedHealthcare about $15 million per year and includes "another potential $8 million in shared savings if provider network discounts are achieved," said Jason Haught, the CFO at the West Virginia Public Insurance Agency, in an e-mail to the Star Tribune.

The new UnitedHealthcare employees will staff a new member-support center in Charleston, W.Va.

"As we expand in West Virginia, we will continue to work with state and local health and community-based organizations to help improve the health of residents through the state and its communities," said Dan Schumacher, the UnitedHealthcare president and chief operating officer, in a statement.

UnitedHealthcare is the nation's largest health insurer. The new contract will be run through UMR, which is the company's third-party administration business.

Called TPAs, for short, third-party administrators arrange networks of doctors and hospitals that provide services to health plan members at certain prices. Doctors and hospitals submit bills to the TPA, which reviews them to certify payment by the employer health plan that's hired the TPA.

The administrator also is involved with the payment of premiums and deductibles by people in the "self-insured" health plan, meaning employers take the financial risk for costs while paying a service fee to the TPA.

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