From Dec. 1, 1996, to Oct. 1, 1998, United HealthCare of Illinois saw a 42 percent drop in Medicaid managed care membership. United officials said the decline came from public aid clients losing their eligibility, and from increased competition. Yet, from Dec. 1, 1996, to Sept. 1, 1998, those eligible for Medicaid statewide dropped only 7.1 percent. And the number of Medicaid recipients enrolled in managed care in Cook County dropped 10.8 percent from Dec. 1, 1996 to Oct. 1, 1998. In contrast, United’s share of Cook County Medicaid clients in managed care dropped from 68 percent to 44 percent during that same time.