HealthSpring buys Bravo Health for $545 million

A major Medicare Advantage player is expanding its operations base by purchasing another major managed care Medicare program. HealthSpring (NYSE: HS), a Nashville-based company, will acquire Bravo Health of Baltimore for $545 million, the two companies announced. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close by the end of the year.

If approved by the federal government, the combined companies will become the seventh largest Medicare advantage insurer. But it will be the largest company focused exclusively on Medicare Advantage, and the ninth largest stand-alone prescription drug plan.

HealthSpring operates in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas, as well as a national stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan (PDP). Bravo Health offers Medicare Advantage plans in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington, D.C., and stand-alone PDPs in 43 states. Both companies operate Medicare Advantage plans.

According to company officials, Bravo Health's Medicare Advantage membership grew to more than 100,000, up from approximately 77,000 at the end of 2009.

All Bravo Health member benefits, customer service contacts, business processes and agreements, and provider contracts remain unchanged at this time.

To learn more:
- see a study of the Medicare Advantage market by The Commonwealth Fund
- see the MarketWire press release
- read Proactive Investors article
- see the Baltimore Sun article

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