FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway says a $26.4 million settlement has been reached with four members of Passport Health Care Plan.

Conway told the Lexington Herald-Leader on Thursday that the members' first payments will begin in the next 10 days. Final payment, he told the newspaper, will be made by January 2016.

The attorney general said the money will be given to Passport to be used for Medicaid patients.

According to the Herald-Leader, Norton Hospital, Jewish and St. Mary's Inc., University Medical Center and University Physicians Associates were founding members of Passport. Each invested money in the health care plan.

According to its website, Passport is administered by AmeriHealth Mercy Health Plan. AmeriHealth Mercy and its affiliates comprise the largest family of Medicaid managed care plans in the United States, serving more than 6.5 million members.

In Kentucky, it serves about 165,000 members.

However, the four member organizations received $30.5 million in disbursements in 2008 and 2009.

Conway told the Herald-Leader that the payouts violated state and federal law.

Nonprofits like Passport are not allowed to pay cash dividends to members, he said.

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