WellCare Continues Commitment to American Diabetes Association as Presenting Sponsor of Tampa Bay’s 2015 Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes

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Sponsorship Announcement Kicks Off American Diabetes Association’s Alert Day® Urging Americans To Take Diabetes Risk Test

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“A staggering number of Americans struggle with diabetes every day, this includes a significant number of our members, as well as many of our associates, family members and friends,” said Dr. Steven Goldberg, WellCare’s chief medical officer.

WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) and the Southwest Florida region of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) are pleased to announce that the WellCare Community Foundation will serve as the Presenting Sponsor of Tampa Bay’s 2015 “Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes.” The WellCare Community Foundation, a non-profit, private foundation that helps people live healthy, safe and productive lives, has donated $35,000 to this chapter of the ADA to become the major supporter of the walk. This is the second year that WellCare has become the presenting sponsor of the ADA’s largest annual fundraiser and community event in the Tampa Bay area.

WellCare and its employees have been longtime supporters and partners of the ADA, having raised more than $500,000 since 2009. Last year, WellCare entered 28 teams in nine states with more than 550 associates, family members and friends participating. Through a combined effort of company contributions and funds raised by associates, WellCare gave the ADA more than $125,000 in 2014.

“A staggering number of Americans struggle with diabetes every day, this includes a significant number of our members, as well as many of our associates, family members and friends,” said Dr. Steven Goldberg, WellCare’s chief medical officer. “WellCare is proud to put our efforts behind the ADA to help drive awareness, prevention and early detection of this serious disease.”

Diabetes strikes more than 29 million Americans, including more than 300,000 people living in the Tampa Bay area alone. One quarter of the people affected by diabetes are not aware that they have the disease. An additional 86 million, or one in three American adults, have pre-diabetes, which means that their blood glucose (sugar) is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes by 2050. The primary risk factors are being overweight, sedentary, over the age of 45 and having a family history of diabetes. African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at an increased risk for developing the disease.

Tuesday, March 24 marks the 27th Annual ADA Alert Day, a one-day, “wake-up call” to ask the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Once risks are identified, preventive measures can be taken. Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by healthy eating; engaging in physical activity for 30 minutes a day, five days a week; and by losing just 7 percent of body weight (15 pounds for a person who weighs 200 pounds).

“Unfortunately, nearly 30 percent of those with diabetes are undiagnosed, which allows the disabling and potentially deadly complications of the disease time to develop. Early diagnosis is vital to successfully treat it, and delay or prevent associated complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke and amputation,” Goldberg added.

“The tagline for our 27th Annual ADA Alert Day is Take it. Share it. Step Out.” said ADA Leadership Board Chairwoman, Erin Smith Aebel. “We will not only be encouraging the public to take the risk test and share it, but we will be asking them to start living a healthy and active lifestyle. One way to do this is by joining our Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes on November 7. We encourage people to prepare for the walk by getting active today.”

The Diabetes Risk Test asks simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risks for becoming pre-diabetic or prone to type 2 diabetes. It provides health tips and advises those who are identified as high risk to speak with their health care providers. The test is free and available in English or Spanish on the ADA’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/AmericanDiabetesAssociation, the ADA website at stopdiabetes.com, and by calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Although Alert Day is a one-day event, the Diabetes Risk Test is available year-round.

About WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
WellCare Health Plans, Inc. provides managed care services targeted to government-sponsored health care programs, including Medicaid, Medicare, Prescription Drug Plans and the Health Insurance Marketplace. Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., WellCare offers a variety of health plans for families, children, and the aged, blind and disabled. The company serves approximately 4.1 million members nationwide as of Dec. 31, 2014. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company's website at http://www.wellcare.com or view the company’s videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/WellCareHealthPlan.

About the WellCare Community Foundation
The WellCare Community Foundation was established in 2010 and is a non-profit, private foundation. Its mission is to foster and promote the health, well-being and quality of life for the poor, distressed and other medically under-served populations – including, those who are elderly, young and indigent – and the communities in which they live. The WellCare Community Foundation carries out this mission by supporting work that helps people live healthy, safe and productive lives, and by assisting groups with serious and neglected health needs. Underscoring this mission is the WellCare Community Foundation’s goal to serve as a national resource that fosters an environment where there is a continuum of education, access and quality health care, all of which improve the overall health, well-being and quality of life of targeted beneficiaries.

About The American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or visit http://www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

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Michele Pinnau