WellCare Health Plans Inc
) has been on an uptrend since the beginning of this month,
reflecting investors' enthusiasm about its developments so far.
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Among others, WellCare announced to receive the approval from
South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS)
to offer Medicaid in six additional counties effective Jan 1,
With the addition of six new counties - Chesterfield, Charleston,
Kershew, Greenwood, Spartanburg and McCormick, the company will
now be offering Medicaid to beneficiaries in 45 out of 46
counties of South Carolina. Apart from South Carolina, WellCare
operates Medicaid Health plans in Georgia, Florida, Kentucky,
Hawaii, New York, Missouri and Ohio.
Moreover, membership from Carolina Medical Homes (CMH) is
expected to move to WellCare on Jan 1, 2014 as a result of
changes being made by SCDHHS to its Healthy Connections Choices
Medicaid managed care program, and WellCare's pending purchases
of certain assets from CMH.
On receiving the new approval, the company assured that almost
all the new members who will be transitioning from CMH can
continue with their current and primary care provider.
The new approval is anticipated to fortify WellCare's top-line
growth reflecting higher total premiums.
WellCare served nearly 50000 Medicaid and 11000 Medicare
Prescription Drug Plan members in South Carolina as on Sep 30,
2013. Additional exposure to six new counties of South Carolina
will consolidate the company's membership base further.
With respect to its earnings performance, WellCare delivered
positive earnings surprises in 2 of last 4 quarter with an
average beat of 1%. However, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) healthcare
stock has not seen any estimate revisions over the last 7 days.
The latest price appreciation is certainly encouraging, but make
sure to keep a close watch of this firm in the near future before
investing in it.
Some other better-ranked healthcare stocks include
IPC The Hospitalist Company, Inc.
Envision Healthcare Holdings, Inc
Acadia Healthcare Company Inc.
). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).