TriWest Healthcare Alliance is a Phoenix, Arizona based corporation that manages health benefits under the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) VAPCCC program in Regions 3, 5, and 6. In 1996, TriWest Healthcare Alliance was established in order to compete for a U.S. Government contract to manage civilian health care benefits under the newly established TRICARE program within the 16-state TRICARE Central Region, also known as Regions 7 and 8. In 1996 TriWest was awarded the contract for the TRICARE Central Region and began operations. The TRICARE Central Region included the following states: Arizona; Colorado; southern Idaho; Iowa; Kansas; Minnesota; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Mexico; North Dakota; South Dakota; El Paso, Texas; Utah; and Wyoming. TriWest was awarded an extension to this contract, which continued until 2004. On August 21, 2003, TriWest was awarded the TRICARE Managed Care Support Contract for the TRICARE West Region. The five-year contract, valued at approximately $10 billion, expanded TriWests service area to 21 states and 2.7 million beneficiaries with the addition of Alaska, California, Hawaii, northern Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.