COLUMBIA, Mo. and TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- People with intellectual disabilities are less likely to receive preventive services like routine teeth cleaning or hearing and eye exams than those without disabilities. This puts them at risk for illness and sometimes untimely death. To increase access to care, Missouri Care, Inc. will collaborate with the Special Olympics Missouri to provide health, dental and hearing screenings for athletes at the State Outdoor Games, Oct. 14-16 in Jefferson City, Missouri.
Missouri Care, Inc., a subsidiary of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG), is a gold sponsor of the State Games. Its support will enable the Healthy Athlete program to provide the 900 participating athletes with sports physicals, flexibility and balance testing, and hearing and dental screenings. In addition, through the Special Olympics' Health Promotion program, athletes and their families receive information to encourage a reduction of risky behaviors, such as smoking, and to promote preventive actions like wearing sunscreen.
"In Missouri, nearly 60 percent of adults with a cognitive disability did not see a dentist in the last year. Another 30 percent did not receive a routine check-up," said Lou Gianquinto, Missouri Care president. "Missouri Care is proud to sponsor Healthy Athletes and to break down some of the barriers to care for Special Olympic athletes."
"The Missouri Care-Special Olympic partnership helps us offer health screenings to the 900 athletes with intellectual disabilities participating in the games," said Carol Griffin, partnership manager for Special Olympics Missouri. "Many of our athletes are low income or have transportation issues that prevent them from obtaining healthcare, so this effort is critically important to helping them maintain the best health possible."
In addition to the sponsorship, Missouri Care associates will volunteer at the games in Jefferson City assisting with scorekeeping, prepping awards, handing out lunches, check-ins and other activities that ensure the athletes have the best possible experience.
To learn more about the Missouri Special Olympics, go to http://somo.org.
As of June 30, 2016, Missouri Care and WellCare serve approximately 130,000 members in Missouri, including 117,000 MO HealthNet Managed Care (Medicaid) members and 13,000 Medicare Prescription Drug members.
About WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) focuses exclusively on providing government-sponsored managed care services, primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, to families, children, seniors and individuals with complex medical needs. WellCare serves approximately 3.8 million members nationwide as of June 30, 2016. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company's website at www.wellcare.com or view the company's videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/WellCareHealthPlan.
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SOURCE WellCare Health Plans, Inc.