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WellCare Partners With LIBERTY Dental To Offer Adult Preventive Dental Services And Enhanced Benefits To Staywell Medicaid Members In Florida


WellCare Partners With LIBERTY Dental To Offer Adult Preventive Dental Services And Enhanced Benefits To Staywell Medicaid Members In Florida

(Thomson Reuters ONE via COMTEX) -- TAMPA, Fla. and IRVINE, Calif. (May 29, 2014) –

WellCare Health Plans, Inc.  WCG -0.26%   today announced that it will expand its services to provide preventive dental benefits to its adult Staywell Health Plan Medicaid members who are participating in the Florida Managed Medical Assistance (MMA) Program through an exclusive agreement with LIBERTY Dental Plan of Florida. These benefits will include oral exams, cleanings and X-rays. Members age 21 and over can access these benefits without co-pays or referrals. Staywell Medicaid members under age 21 will continue to receive preventive dental benefits.

WellCare will also work with LIBERTY to offer all Staywell Medicaid members enhanced dental benefits designed to further promote preventive care and increase members' dental health engagement. These enhanced benefits will include assistance in selecting dental providers who will coordinate with members' primary care physicians to better address their overall health, access to a highly-rated network of approximately 5,000 dentists and dental specialists, and a newly developed smart phone application to help members easily access benefit information and customer service support.

"We are committed to continually improving the care and services that we provide to our members and to ensuring that quality dental care is fully integrated with our member's physical health care services," said Gregg MacDonald, state president, WellCare of Florida. "Our new and enhanced dental benefits are aimed at delivering coordinated, preventive care to help increase our members' quality of life and drive down long-term health care costs."

The launch of these benefits coincides with the launch of Florida Managed Medical Assistance (MMA) Program services. Staywell was awarded a contract by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to provide managed care services to Medicaid recipients in Regions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 11. Services to Regions 2, 3 and 4, which include Jacksonville and Tallahassee, launched on May 1. Services to Regions 5, 6 and 8, which include the Tampa Bay area, will launch on June 1. Services to Region 11, which includes Miami and the Florida Keys, will launch on July 1. Services to Region 7, which includes Orlando and the Central East Coast of Florida will launch on Aug. 1.

"We are working with WellCare to make it easier for Staywell Medicaid members to access more comprehensive and effective dental services," said Amir Neshat, LIBERTY's founder and CEO. "We have enjoyed a thriving history of collaboration with WellCare, and we feel privileged to have been selected to help them serve their members in Florida."

LIBERTY has served WellCare members since 2009 and currently provides dental health services to approximately 235,000 WellCare Medicare and Medicaid members in 14 states, including approximately 63,000 WellCare members in Florida.

As of March 31, 2014, WellCare serves approximately 400,000 Medicaid plan members, 82,000 Florida Healthy Kids members, 84,000 Medicare Advantage plan members and 57,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan members in Florida.

About WellCare Health Plans, Inc.

WellCare Health Plans, Inc. provides managed care services targeted to government-sponsored health care programs, focusing on Medicaid and Medicare. Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., WellCare offers a variety of health plans for families, children, and the aged, blind, and disabled, as well as prescription drug plans. The company serves approximately 3.5 million members nationwide as of March 31, 2014. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company's website at .

About LIBERTY Dental Plan

LIBERTY Dental Plan specializes in commercial and government sponsored dental programs, providing services to managed care organizations, state governments, labor unions, large group employers, municipalities, and individuals. With a vast majority of its membership enrolled in government sponsored programs, LIBERTY is recognized as a specialist in administering dental care for Medicaid, SCHIP and Medicare beneficiaries. LIBERTY has a proven record of successfully increasing the utilization of quality dental care for multiple programs, ensuring that a larger portion of premiums are appropriated directly to care. LIBERTY Dental Plan is also recognized as an industry leader in the area of Dental Disease Management. A member of The Care Continuum Alliance (, LIBERTY shares their commitment to promote high quality standards for and definitions of key components of wellness, disease, case management where appropriate, and care coordination programs as well as support services and materials. For more information about LIBERTY, please visit the company's website at .

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains "forward-looking" statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements that are predictive in nature, that depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, or that include words such as "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates," and similar expressions are forward-looking statements. For example, the company's statements regarding providing dental benefits and the timing of the launch of MMA program services are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause WellCare's actual future results to differ materially from those projected or contemplated in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, future changes in health care law, future changes in the MMA program and its timeline, future changes in the contract between WellCare and LIBERTY Dental Plan, WellCare's ability to effectively manage growth, WellCare's ability to build and maintain cost-effective contracts with providers, the demographic mix of members, and WellCare's progress on top priorities such as improving health care quality and access, ensuring a competitive cost position, and delivering prudent, profitable growth. Additional information concerning these and other important risks and uncertainties can be found under the captions "Forward-Looking Statements" and "Risk Factors" in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, the company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2014 and other subsequent filings by WellCare with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which contain discussions of WellCare's business and the various factors that may affect it. WellCare undertakes no duty to update these forward-looking statements to reflect any future events, developments, or otherwise.