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Health News Florida

State Awards WellCare Sole Contract For Medically Complex Children

a doctor checks a child's heartbeat
iStock

The Florida Department of Health has decided to award Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans with a statewide contract to care for children with complex medical issues.

The move will affect about 60,000 children who are insured by Medicaid or the state's Children’s Health Insurance program.

The Children’s Medical Services Health Plan is Florida’s only specialty health plan for children and youth with special health care needs.

State officials say the decision to shift providers followed nearly three years of having state and national experts examine the current plan and outline a new one.

Under this partnership, WellCare will implement the new service delivery model for the CMS Health Plan.

There are legal challenges to this decision. Opponents say federal law, as well as the Medicaid waivers that authorize managed-care programs, requires that patients have at  least two health plan options.