TAMPA -- Of the five largest health insurers in the U.S., Aetna Inc. (symbol: AET) has the fewest Medicare customers. That disparity makes Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans Inc. (symbol: WCG) a prime takeover target for the Hartford, Conn.-based firm, according to Bloomberg.
Aetna is the much larger company overall, having generated $34.2 billion in 2010 revenues, compared to $5.4 billion for WellCare. But WellCare has the larger base of Medicare customers, with 1.07 million subscribers, compared to just 837,000 for Aetna, Bloomberg says.
“They have an opportunity to gain scale. It's a no-brainer,” says Sachin Shah, a New Jersey-based analyst for Tullett Prebon Plc, in an interview with Bloomberg.
Multiple settlement payments with federal regulators forced WellCare to post $53 million in net losses last year.