Aetna plans to sell Missouri Medicaid business

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(HARTFORD, Conn., AP) — Aetna Inc. will sell a Missouri Medicaid business that manages care for more than 100,000 people to fellow health insurer WellCare Health Plans Inc. due to Aetna’s pending acquisition of Coventry Health Care Inc.
Terms were not disclosed.
Aetna, based in Hartford, Conn., said Tuesday that Coventry operates a Medicaid plan in Missouri called Health Care USA, and it has more than 250,000 members. A combination of that and Aetna’s business, called Missouri Care, would exceed membership limits set under the state’s Medicaid contracts.
Medicaid is the state and federally funded program that provides medical coverage for the needy and disabled people. States hire health insurers to manage their Medicaid populations.
Aetna said in August it will spend $5.7 billion in cash and stock to buy Coventry, a Bethesda, Md.-based insurer.
Aetna said Tuesday it still expects the deal to be completed by the middle of this year. Wellcare is based in Tampa, Fla.
Shares of Aetna climbed 20 cents to $47.13 in Tuesday morning trading. WellCare shares, meanwhile, rose 6 cents to $48.27.
Aetna is the nation’s third largest insurer, trailing UnitedHealth Group Inc. and WellPoint Inc. Aetna will report on its fourth-quarter and 2012 results Jan. 31.
WellCare Health provides managed care services targeted to government-sponsored health care programs like Medicaid and Medicare and had about 2.6 million members nationwide as of Sept. 30.