Universal American shareholders OK acquisition by WellCare

By John Golden

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Universal American Corp. stockholders on Thursday approved a merger agreement whereby the Medicare benefits company in White Plains will be acquired by WellCare Health Plans Inc. of Tampa.

The companies in November announced the all-cash deal has an equity value of about $600 million. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter this year, pending regulatory approvals.

Universal American officials said shareholders at a special meeting voted nearly unanimously to approve the agreement.

With the merger, WellCare, a provider of government-sponsored managed care services, expects to add approximately 65,000 Medicare Advantage members in the Houston-Beaumont area of Texas and about 14,000 members in the Northeast, primarily in New York. Universal American also partners with health care providers in Accountable Care Organizations in 11 states, six of which are WellCare Medicare Advantage markets, and the Florida-based company expects to strategically develop and grow such physician partnerships.

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About the author

John Golden
As managing editor of the Business Journals, John Golden directs news coverage of Westchester and Fairfield counties and the Hudson Valley region. He was an award-winning upstate columnist and feature writer before joining the Business Journal in 2007. He is the author of “Northern Drift: Sketches on the New York Frontier,” a collection of his regional journalism.

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