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WellCare to Cover H1N1 Vaccine Administration Costs for Medicaid and Medicare Advantage Members
Date:9/30/2009

TAMPA, Fla., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ --WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) announced it will cover the full cost of administration of the H1N1 vaccine as a preventative care benefit for Medicare Advantage, Medicare private fee-for-service (PFFS) and Medicaid plan members when it becomes available to the public.

WellCare is also continuing its coverage of seasonal flu vaccine administration for members. Members will not be required to pay deductibles, co-pays or coinsurance to receive the vaccine. Additionally, prior authorizations will not be required. WellCare members who are enrolled in a stand-alone Medicare Part D (PDP) plan are eligible to receive the H1N1 vaccine through their Medicare Part B benefits.

"It is our goal to keep our members as healthy as possible," said Dr. Laura Hungiville, WellCare's Pharmacy vice president. "By offering our members several no-cost options for accessing both seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccines, we hope to help slow the spread of flu this season."

To ensure that those most in need receive an H1N1 vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended prioritizing specific population segments to receive the vaccine. Those identified as most in need include:

  • Pregnant women;
  • People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age;
  • Health care and emergency medical services personnel;
  • Persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years; and
  • People 25 through 64 years old who are at higher risk for H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.

According to the CDC, shipments of the vaccine will be designated to providers who have the capability to receive, store and administer the vaccine. This includes, but is not limited to doctor's offices, occupational health clinics, hospitals, local health departments, community vaccinators and pharmacies. The CDC and vaccine's manufacturer are working to set the shipping timeline for the 2009 H1N1 vaccine. WellCare will continue to follow the CDC's guidance and provide additional information as it becomes available.

About WellCare Health Plans, Inc.

WellCare Health Plans, Inc. provides managed care services exclusively for government-sponsored health care programs, focusing on Medicaid and Medicare. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, WellCare offers a variety of health plans for families, children, and the aged, blind and disabled, as well as prescription drug plans. The Company served approximately 2.4 million members nationwide as of June 30, 2009. For more information about WellCare, please visit the Company's website at www.wellcare.com.

    CONTACTS:
    Investor relations:                                     Media relations:
    Gregg Haddad                                            Amy Knapp
    813-865-1284                                            813-290-6208

SOURCE WellCare Health Plans, Inc.


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SOURCE WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
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