“Centene Corp. has said it will buy fellow Medicaid insurer WellCare Health Plans in an estimated $17.3 billion deal.
“All in all, the two insurers would cover nearly 22 million people in Medicare, Medicaid and the ACA exchanges. Centene CEO Michael Neidorff will serve as chairman and CEO of the merged company.
“‘With the addition of WellCare, we expect to bolster and diversify our product offerings, increase our scale and have access to new markets, which will in turn, enable us to continue investing in technology and better serve members with innovative programs designed to meet their needs,’ Neidorff said in a statement.
“…It would include more than 12 million Medicaid beneficiaries and almost 1 million Medicare members, along with a Medicare prescription drug plan WellCare is acquiring from Aetna…
“Centene saw its ACA exchange membership swell to almost 2 million during the latest open enrollment, giving it about a 20% market share across the country. WellCare’s recent growth focused on Medicaid, where it has million members, thanks in large part to its $2.5 billion acquisition of Meridian Health Plan that closed in September.”