WellCare reports higher profits; predicts Medicaid growth in Florida

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On Tuesday, WellCare Health Plans reported rising profits during the first quarter of 2014, with additional growth under the new Florida Medicaid managed-care system.

The Tampa-based healthcare chain reported $44.1 million in net income during the first quarter, or $1 per diluted share, as opposed to $21.5 million, or $0.49 per diluted share, at the same period in 2013.

When adjusted, WellCare’s reported net income is $49.7 million, or $1.13 per diluted share, as compared $27.5 million, or $0.63 per diluted share, at the same point in 2013.

According to a news release issued Tuesday, WellCare said they expect to serve at least 500,000 Floridians by the end of the year, as the state proceeds with the Medicaid managed-care system.

The shift to managed-care system started across North Florida and parts of Central Florida on Thursday.

WellCare said it services 185,000 people in those regions, an additional 107,000 people from the time the new system took effect.

Medicaid beneficiaries enrolled in managed-care plans in the past, but now Florida requires enrollment for nearly all beneficiaries statewide.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.