The state health department identified five companies to run a $2.2 billion privatization of the Louisiana Medicaid insurance program for low-income children and adults. The firms still must clear additional rounds of government evaluation, including the federal agency responsible for the Medicaid program, before Medicaid recipients can join the new managed-care networks later this year. But the announcement is a key juncture for Gov. Bobby Jindal's signature health-care initiative. The program would shift more than two-thirds of the state's 1.2 million Medicaid recipients – most of them children – to a system of coordinated-care networks designed to save taxpayer money and provide better care through coordination among doctors, hospitals and other medical professionals. Medicaid currently operates on a traditional fee-for-service model, with a recipient choosing any physician or other provider who accept the program and the provider billing the state after delivering a service.