WellCare boosts membership, profits ahead of Centene deal

WellCare Health Plans grew its profits and membership as its pending sale to Centene Corp. moves forward, according to Forbes contributor Bruce Japsen.

Leading the growth was WellCare's Medicare Advantage segment. In its recent earnings report, WellCare said its private Medicare business increased by 19,000 members in the third quarter to about 563,000 as of Sept. 30. The insurer's CEO Ken Burdick said WellCare plans to expand Medicare Advantage plans into 87 new counties for 2020, according to Forbes.

WellCare ended the third quarter with $241 million in net income, up more than 70 percent year over year from the $130.6 million the insurer recorded in the same period last year. Revenues also grew, climbing more than 40 percent year over year to $7.1 billion, a number that includes $1.8 billion in Medicare Advantage revenue.

Centene said its acquisition of WellCare is moving faster than expected. The deal needs approval from just two more states and the Department of Justice to close, according to Forbes.

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