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Business Observer Wednesday, May 30, 2018 3 months ago

Health insurer expands portfolio with huge acquisition

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Tampa-based WellCare buys Meridian in $2.5 billion deal.

TAMPA — WellCare Health Plans Inc. has agreed to acquire Meridian, a privately held Midwest managed care provider, for $2.5 billion in cash, pending regulatory approval.

The deal will significantly deepen Tampa-based WellCare’s Medicaid and Medicare Advantage customer base in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana. The transaction also includes MeridianRX, a pharmacy benefit manager.

According to a press release, Meridian boasts the No. 1 Medicaid market position in Michigan and projects to post more than $4.3 billion in total revenue in 2018.

“Meridian is a well-performing health plan, and WellCare and Meridian share a similar commitment to serving our members through a comprehensive, integrated approach to health care,” states WellCare CEO Ken Burdick in the release. “This transaction aligns with our focus on government-sponsored health plans, will strengthen our capabilities and growing business, and will meaningfully advance our growth agenda.”

In the release, Meridian CEO David Cotton states that WellCare’s “unwavering commitment to improving the lives of its members” was a key factor in the company’s decision to sell, and says WellCare will be “an ideal partner.”

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