WellCare Expands Medicaid Benefits in Kentucky to Promote Preventive Care

Dec 22, 2015, 08:30 ET from WellCare Health Plans, Inc.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. and TAMPA, Fla., Dec. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG), a leading provider of managed care services for government-sponsored health care programs, is enhancing its Medicaid benefits in Kentucky by offering its members a healthy rewards program, meals program, and one sports physical for children between the ages of 6 and 18, at no cost to the member, or his or her parents or guardians. These benefits are effective Jan. 1, 2016.

The healthy rewards program is available to all WellCare of Kentucky Medicaid members. It incentivizes them to complete specific preventive health, wellness and engagement milestones. The achievement of a healthy behavior will earn the member a debit card with an amount between $10 and $60, depending upon the type of healthy behavior completed. For example, members are eligible to receive a 6-pack of diapers and a $20 debit card for completing a postpartum care visit.  

"Preventive care is crucial to achieving and maintaining health," said Dr. Howard Shaps, medical director for WellCare of Kentucky. "We are committed to continually improving the care and services we provide to our members to help them stay healthy. People who have relationships with their primary care physicians receive better access to needed services, are more likely to obtain preventive screenings, and receive early management for health problems."

The meals program is for Kentucky Medicaid members who are enrolled in care management and have been recently discharged from an inpatient hospital, a rehabilitation facility or a skilled nursing facility. Ten meals, per authorization, will be delivered to the member within 14 days of discharge for post-acute nutritional support, with no annual limit.

"Studies have shown that nearly half of readmissions are linked to social problems and lack of access to community resources," said Ben Orris, chief operating officer for WellCare of Kentucky. "The transition from a hospital setting to a member's home is usually presented with various challenges, particularly for seniors and individuals with special needs. To address one of the prevalent barriers associated with post-discharge transition, WellCare of Kentucky is facilitating meal delivery to support the nutrition needed to help people remain well and at home."

Sports and physical activity play an important part in helping children live healthier lives. To encourage physical activity, WellCare of Kentucky is providing one annual free sports physical for Medicaid members between the ages of 6 and 18.

"According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, reduces anxiety and stress, increases self-esteem, and may improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels," said Shaps.

WellCare of Kentucky Medicaid members will continue to have access to its other expanded benefits including $0 co-pays for all covered medical services, $120 credit toward over-the-counter (OTC) supplies, free General Educational Development (GED) testing for eligible members and free baby essentials for pregnant women.

For more information about the healthy rewards program, meals program, sports physical benefit and other WellCare Medicaid benefits in Kentucky, please visit www.wellcare.com/Kentucky  or call 1-877-389-9457 (TTY/TDD 1-877-247-6272) Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.  

As of Sept. 30, 2015, WellCare serves approximately 436,000 Medicaid members, 7,500 Medicare Advantage plan members and 21,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan members in Kentucky. To learn more about how we care for Kentuckians, watch Brandi's story at http://youtu.be/YwOw5EgeSYo.

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 Sept. 30, 2015. 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.