WellCare Partners With Smoking Cessation Trust To Enroll Its Louisiana Medicare Advantage Members In A No-Cost Stop Smoking Program

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Members who enroll are eligible to receive cessation medication, individual and/or group counseling, and telephone quit-line support services.

WellCare Health Plans, Inc.

WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG), a leading provider of managed care services for government-sponsored health care programs, today announced a partnership with Louisiana’s Smoking Cessation Trust (SCT) to encourage its eligible Louisiana Medicare Advantage members to enroll in a no-cost, smoking cessation program. Members who enroll are eligible to receive cessation medication, individual and/or group counseling, and telephone quit-line support services.

“We are pleased that WellCare is joining our efforts to reach out to their health plan members who can benefit from the program’s services,” said Mike Rogers, SCT Management Services chief executive.

“WellCare’s mission is to enhance our members’ health and quality of life,” said Frank Heyliger, WellCare’s region president for La. and Texas. “We see our partnership with the SCT as a great opportunity to help our members access the critical services they may need to kick the smoking habit for good. This can lead to improvements in chronic health conditions and positively impact overall health outcomes.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 percent of Louisiana’s adult population smokes; 6,500 residents over the age of 35 die each year as the result of tobacco use. Nationally, the adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for more than 440,000 deaths, or nearly one of every five deaths, each year. Compared with nonsmokers, smoking increases the risk significantly of developing serious and sometimes fatal diseases, including lung cancer, coronary heart disease and chronic obstructive lung diseases.

For more information about the smoking cessation program, WellCare Medicare Advantage members can call the customer service number on their WellCare member ID card or 1-866-804-5926 (TTY/TTD 1-877-247-6272). Nonmembers can visit the SCT’s website at http://www.smokefreela.org or call toll-free 1-855-259-6346.

As of June 30, 2013, WellCare serves approximately 7,000 Medicare Advantage members in Louisiana.

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 2.8 million members nationwide as of June 30, 2013. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company's website at http://www.wellcare.com.

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