WellCare Health Plans, Inc
) has been on an uptrend over a month, reflecting investors'
enthusiasm about its developments so far. The stock gained nearly
12.3% to close at $72.08 on Oct 3.
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In its concerted effort to widen its Medicare Advantage service
coverage, WellCare Health added eight new counties in the states
of Arizona, California and Kentucky.
The new counties are La Paz, Maricopa and Pima in Arizona; Fresno
in California; and, Bullitt, Carroll, Gallatin and Owen in
Following the additions, WellCare expands its 2014 Medicare
Advantage plans to 210 counties in 14 U.S. states. WellCare
earlier stated that in 2014, it intends to serve Medicare
eligibles in 210 counties, higher than the 2013 figure of 204.
With the new additions, the company achieved its set target. When
Medicare open enrolment begins on Oct 15, eligible customers can
choose WellCare as their Medicare Advantage plan.
WellCare Health expects the new counties in Arizona and
California to leverage two of its acquisitions closed in the
final quarter of 2012. One is that of Easy Choice Health Plan in
California. The second comprises the takeover of select assets of
Arcadian Health Plan, Inc.'s Desert Canyon Community Care MA
). In addition, the dual eligible beneficiaries it serves in
Kentucky's Medicaid program will provide cross-selling
opportunities for Medicare.
Moreover, WellCare Health's recent announcement to acquire
Windsor Health Group Inc. from German insurer Munich Re AG will
further strengthen its foothold in Medicare Advantage. Windsor
Health presently offers Medicare Advantage plans in 297 counties
primarily in the states of Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, and
WellCare offers its Medicare Advantage plans to more than 17
million Medicare-eligible residents. As of Jun 30, 2013, WellCare
serves approximately 0.272 million Medicare Advantage members
nationwide. With the aforesaid expansion, the tally is expected
to scale new heights.
In a separate development, WellCare Health also announced the
successful transition of the former UnitedHealthcare South
Carolina Medicaid program. It closed the UnitedHealthcare`s South
Carolina Medicaid acquisition on Feb 1, 2013. As of
June 30, 2013, WellCare of South Carolina serves nearly 51,000
Medicaid members in 39 counties, including the Columbia, Florence
and Greenville metropolitan areas, through the South Carolina
Healthy Connections Choices program.
Currently, WellCare Health carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Health Net, Inc
) sharing the same Zacks Rank as WellCare Health, are also worth