Shares of insurers Molina Healthcare Inc. and Centene Corp. sank Monday in early trading, one trading day after the state of Ohio picked some competitors to administer its Medicaid program for more than 1.5 million people.

State officials said Friday they selected Aetna Better Health of Ohio, CareSource, Meridian Health Plan, Paramount Advantage and United Healthcare Community Plan of Ohio. Medicaid is a state and federal program that covers the aged, blind, needy and disabled. States hire private health insurers to run their Medicaid programs.

Aetna and Meridian Health are new entrants to the Ohio program, Bernstein analyst Ana Gupte said in a research note.

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