WellCare closes Part D acquisition from Aetna

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WellCare's Part D business tripled in size thanks to the Aetna acquisition, which closed on Tuesday. (Pixabay/rawpixel)

WellCare closed its purchase of Aetna's Medicare Part D business, tripling the size of its membership.

The transaction was required by Aetna in order for the Department of Justice to approve the company's $69 billion merger with CVS, which closed last week.

Aetna will continue to provide administrative services and assume the financial risk of Part D plans through the end of 2019. Therefore, WellCare does not expect to recognize any revenue until 2020. 

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As of Sept. 30, WellCare has 1.1 million Part D members. Aetna's business adds 2.2 million more, pushing the insurer ahead of Blue Cross Blue Shield and Express Scripts in terms of Part D market share.

RELATED: CVS-Aetna merger hits a snag as federal judge asks DOJ for more information

"We're pleased that we could be a solution to our federal partners, as well as CVS Health," Ken Burdick, WellCare's chief executive officer, said in a statement. "This acquisition allows us the opportunity to serve over 2 million additional Medicare Part D members nationwide and complements our long-term growth strategy within government-sponsored health plans."

The closure comes just a day after the CVS-Aetna deal hit a snag as a D.C. district judge asked the DOJ to provide more information about the transaction, and told the companies to remain separate until he makes a final decision later this month.