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WellCare Wins 'Unprecedented' Medicaid Contracts in NC, Income Falls $74M

Analysis  |  By Jack O'Brien  
   February 05, 2019

The Tampa-based insurer saw its net income drop by $74.1 million from Q3 to Q4 2018.

WellCare Health Plans recorded nearly $20.5 billion in total revenues for 2018, but saw its net income slide by $74.1 million between Q3 and Q4 2018, according to its latest earnings report released Tuesday morning.

The Tampa-based insurer posted adjusted earnings per share of $1.63 per share, well ahead of $0.32 per share in Q4 2017, while total revenues surpassed $6 billion.

WellCare's Q4 earnings release came a day after the insurer was awarded, along with four other healthcare organizations, an 'unprecedented' $6 billion worth of privatized Medicaid contracts by the state of North Carolina.

One of the most significant developments for the insurer in Q4 was its key role in the ongoing federal review of the CVS-Aetna megamerger, as Aetna was required to sell off its Medicare Part D business to WellCare.

Related: WellCare Acquires Aetna's Part D Health Plans as CVS-Aetna Hits Rumble Strip

C-Suite Perspective: 

"While our recent focus has been on 2019 and beyond, we are pleased to report a strong finish to 2018, a year with multiple Medicaid RFP wins and the closing of two meaningful acquisitions," Ken Burdick, CEO of WellCare, said in a statement. "We are excited that we were able to capitalize on opportunities that will provide continued revenue and earnings growth over the next few years."

Burdick added that due to the company's Q4 earnings and projected growth among its Medicare Part D membership, which reached 1.1 million, WellCare is increasing its adjusted EPS guidance to a range between $13.25 and $13.50 per share for 2019.

Related: WellCare Revenues Rise Year-Over-Year in Q3, EPS Falls

WellCare's Medicaid membership continues to be one of its driving forces, totalling 3.9 million members by the end of Q4 2018, an increase of 1.2 million members compared to the end of Q4 2017.

Net cash provided by operating activities for both Q4 2018 and the year as a whole dropped significantly compared to similar metrics in 2017. Net cash for the quarter represented a $114.5 million decline, while net cash for 2018 plummeted by $821 million.


  • WellCare's adjusted net income for 2018 barely eclipsed $522 million.

  • The insurer's Medicare membership totalled more than 540,000 at the end of Q4, a year-over-year increase of nearly 50,000.

  • The company's Medicare health plans revenues totalled $1.6 billion in Q4, an increase of almost 13% compared to this time last year.

  • By the end of Q4, WellCare had $516 million in unregulated cash and investments.

Related: Blockchain Venture Partners with Spectrum, WellCare to Tackle Credentialing

For complete financial information, review WellCare's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Jack O'Brien is the Content Team Lead and Finance Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

Photo credit: KIEV, UKRAINE - Dec 18,, 2018: WellCare Health care company logo seen displayed on smart phone - Image / Editorial credit: IgorGolovniov /


Net income fell from $130 million in Q3 to $55.9 million in Q4.

The earnings report came a day after WellCare, along with four other healthcare organizations, was awarded $6 billion worth of privatized Medicaid contracts in North Carolina.

WellCare is increasing its adjusted EPS guidance for 2019 to a range between $13.25 and $13.50 per share.

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