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WellCare to Have Medicaid Plans Statewide

WellCare Health Plans announced Tuesday that the state has approved expansion of its Staywell Medicaid plan into an additional 25 counties.  The expansion places WellCare in the position of being the only Medicaid managed care contractor offering plans in all 67 Florida counties, the company said.

Some of the counties that will be added have not previously offered a managed-care plan to Medicaid patients, the release said.

The Tampa-based company offers two Medicaid HMOs in Florida: Staywell and HealthEase.

As of Sept. 30, WellCare reported that it had more than 500,000 Florida customers enrolled in one of plans -- the two Medicaid HMOs, Florida Healthy Kids, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.

WellCare, which is  not in the commercial market, has about 2.6 million members nationwide. It is a publicly traded company.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.