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WellCare to boost Medicare market share with $2.5B Meridian acquisition — 5 insights

WellCare Health Plans agreed to acquire Meridian Health Plan of Michigan and Illinois, as well as pharmacy benefit manager MeridianRx, for $2.5 billion in cash.

Here are five quick facts.

1. WellCare will add Meridian's 27,000 Medicare Advantage members in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

2. The transaction will diversify WellCare's Medicaid portfolio through the addition of Michigan, expand its Medicaid business in Illinois and add an integrated PBM platform. It is expected to close by the end of the year.

3. As of May 1, Meridian serves approximately 1.1 million Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, integrated dual-eligible and Health Insurance Marketplace members in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

Meridian has 565,000 Medicaid members in Illinois and approximately 508,000 Medicaid members in the Michigan, where it has the No. 1 Medicaid market position.

4. As a result of the transaction, WellCare will secure the No. 1 Medicaid membership market share in Michigan and Illinois, becoming the market leader in a total of six states.

5. Meridian expects to generate more than $4.3 billion in total revenue in 2018.

"This transaction strategically aligns with our focus on government-sponsored health plans, will strengthen our capabilities and growing business and will meaningfully advance our growth agenda," said WellCare CEO Ken Burdick.

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