Membership limits prompt Aetna to sell Medicaid plan

Aetna is selling its Medicaid business in Missouri to WellCare to help meet stipulations established under its proposed $5.7 billion acquisition of Coventry Health Care.

Missouri Care, which is owned by Aetna, manages care for more than 100,000 Medicaid members and maintains a provider network of more than 50 hospitals and 9,500 doctors, the Tampa Bay Business Journal reported.

However, Coventry also operates a Medicaid plan in Missouri, Health Care USA, which manages care for more than 250,000 Missouri Medicaid members. Once Aetna's acquisition of Coventry is completed, Aetna would become the parent operator of both Medicaid businesses, thereby exceeding the state's maximum membership for one insurer, the Associated Press reported.

WellCare CEO Alec Cunningham said acquiring Missouri Care will help round out the insurer's existing Medicare Advantage plans. All Missouri Care employees will join WellCare to help ensure its members continue to receive uninterrupted service, noted the AP.

Terms of the Aetna-WellCare deal weren't disclosed. Aetna's buyout of Coventry is expected to close later this year.

To learn more:
- read the Tampa Bay Business Journal article
- check out the Associated Press article