BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration has reached emergency agreements to keep Louisiana Medicaid services intact for 1.5 million people.

The one-year deals still need final state and federal approvals to take effect in January.

The emergency contracts will keep the five private companies that currently manage care for most Medicaid patients in place amid legal disputes that has stalled new contracts.

Multibillion-dollar contracts with the five Medicaid managed care companies were slated to expire at the end of the December. The Edwards administration chose four companies to do the work starting in 2020.

But two losing bidders that currently hold Louisiana Medicaid managed care contracts are formally protesting that decision.

The Louisiana Department of Health released copies of the emergency contracts Thursday to The Associated Press.

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