WellCare Partners with Shipt to Provide Free Grocery Delivery Memberships to Medicare Advantage Members for Remainder of 2020

TAMPA, Fla. and BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Aug. 3,  2020 /PRNewswire/ -- WellCare, a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation, announced today an industry-leading partnership with Shipt, a same-day delivery service, to help Medicare Advantage members safely and conveniently access groceries and everyday essentials throughout 2020, providing them with a critical service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(PRNewsfoto/WellCare Health Plans, Inc.)

The partnership is part of WellCare's continued commitment to address social determinants of health – non-medical barriers to care such as food insecurity or transportation assistance – all of which have been exacerbated by the coronavirus.

To address these needs, WellCare is providing low-income and special needs plan members in select WellCare, WellCare TexanPlus and 'Ohana Medicare Advantage plans with free, monthly Shipt memberships for the remainder of 2020. With this benefit, members can have groceries and essentials delivered from a number of retailers directly to their homes through their Shipt account, which not only helps them easily obtain the essentials they need, but also helps reduce possible exposure to the virus by eliminating their need to go to the grocery store. The benefit, which is subject to availability, is being offered to more than 200,000 members across 23 states.

"The effects of the pandemic are far-reaching, extending beyond medical care and affecting access to food, medicine, transportation, and more," said Michael Polen, Centene's Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Medicare Solutions. "We look forward to offering this new benefit as one more way to simplify access to everyday essentials, ensure continuity of care, and help our members stay safe and healthy during this challenging time."

"We're proud to partner with WellCare to fuse their commitment to meeting the health needs of vulnerable populations and our expertise in delivering groceries and essentials to those who need them," said Rina Hurst, Chief Business Strategy Officer, Shipt. "Especially in these challenging times, Shipt seeks to simplify lives and spark connections. We believe this first-of-its-kind partnership accomplishes just that while helping thousands of members get what they need quickly and safely."

Seniors and Food Insecurity, Transportation Issues

Each day, millions of seniors across the country go hungry. According to a study by Feeding America, nearly 8% of Americans age 60 and older were "food insecure" in 2017.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, WellCare's Community Connections Help Line, a toll-free, nationwide line available to anyone in need, has found increased demand for resources among seniors. The Help Line, which fielded more than 4,000 calls from Medicare members between March 1 and June 30, reports food assistance was the number-one most requested service (34%) accounting for more than one-third of all calls from this demographic. Medication assistance was the second most requested service (26%) followed by transportation (14%).

Shipt Ensures Safety and Convenience for Members and Employees

Shipt is available to more than 80% of U.S. households across 5,000 cities. The user-friendly app works with vetted, reliable Shipt Shoppers to ensure efficiency and user satisfaction.

During the pandemic, Shipt's top priority has been the health and safety of members and shoppers. As a result, Shipt has increased support staff, added more shoppers to help with high demand, and provides financial assistance and personal protective equipment to its shoppers.

To learn more, eligible WellCare members are encouraged to visit www.wellcare.com and log in to their member portal for instructions on how to take advantage of this benefit.

ATTENTION: If you speak a language other than English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call <1-877-374-4056> (TTY: 711).

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About WellCare

WellCare provides government-sponsored managed care services to families, children, seniors, and individuals with complex medical needs primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans. WellCare is a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation, a leading multi-national healthcare enterprise committed to helping people live healthier lives. For more information about WellCare, please visit www.wellcare.com.

About Shipt

Shipt brings the store to your door. Through a community of Shipt Shoppers and a convenient app, Shipt provides personal shopping and delivery and is available to 80% of households in more than 5,000 U.S. cities. Shipt Shoppers go above and beyond, communicating in real time about preferences and substitutions. A curated marketplace of retailers, Shipt offers access to a variety of stores and product categories including fresh foods, household essentials, wellness products, office, and pet supplies. Shipt is an independently operated, wholly owned subsidiary of Target Corp. Founded and headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, Shipt also maintains an office in San Francisco. For more information, visit Shipt.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

All statements, other than statements of current or historical fact, contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Without limiting the foregoing, forward-looking statements often use words such as "believe," "anticipate," "plan," "expect," "estimate," "intend," "seek," "target," "goal," "may," "will," "would," "could," "should," "can," "continue" and other similar words or expressions (and the negative thereof). Centene (the Company, our, or we) intends such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe-harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and we are including this statement for purposes of complying with these safe-harbor provisions. In particular, these statements include, without limitation, statements about our future operating or financial performance, market opportunity, growth strategy, competition, expected activities in completed and future acquisitions, including statements about the impact of our recently completed acquisition (the WellCare Acquisition) of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (WellCare), other recent and future acquisitions, investments and the adequacy of our available cash resources. These forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and are based on numerous assumptions and assessments made by us in light of our experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, business strategies, operating environments, future developments and other factors we believe appropriate. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and are subject to change because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future, including economic, regulatory, competitive and other factors that may cause our or our industry's actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. All forward-looking statements included in this press release are based on information available to us on the date hereof. Except as may be otherwise required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements included in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date hereof. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, as actual results may differ materially from projections, estimates, or other forward-looking statements due to a variety of important factors, variables and events including but not limited to: the impact of COVID-19 on global markets, economic conditions and the healthcare industry and our results of operations, which is unknown; uncertainty as to our expected financial performance following completion and integration of the WellCare Acquisition; the possibility that the expected synergies and value creation from the WellCare Acquisition will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; the risk that unexpected costs will be incurred in connection with the integration of the WellCare Acquisition or that the integration of WellCare will be more difficult or time consuming than expected; unexpected costs, charges or expenses resulting from the WellCare Acquisition; the inability to retain key personnel; disruption from the completion of the WellCare Acquisition, including potential adverse reactions or changes to business relationships with customers, employees, suppliers or regulators, making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; the risk that we may not be able to effectively manage our expanded operations; our ability to accurately predict and effectively manage health benefits and other operating expenses and reserves; competition; membership and revenue declines or unexpected trends; changes in healthcare practices, new technologies, and advances in medicine; increased healthcare costs; changes in economic, political or market conditions; changes in federal or state laws or regulations, including changes with respect to income tax reform or government healthcare programs as well as changes with respect to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act, collectively referred to as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and any regulations enacted thereunder that may result from changing political conditions or judicial actions, including the ultimate outcome in "Texas v. United States of America" regarding the constitutionality of the ACA; rate cuts or other payment reductions or delays by governmental payors and other risks and uncertainties affecting our government businesses; our ability to adequately price products on the Health Insurance Marketplaces and other commercial and Medicare products; tax matters; disasters or major epidemics; the outcome of legal and regulatory proceedings; changes in expected contract start dates; provider, state, federal and other contract changes and timing of regulatory approval of contracts; the expiration, suspension, or termination of our contracts with federal or state governments (including but not limited to Medicaid, Medicare, TRICARE or other customers); the difficulty of predicting the timing or outcome of pending or future litigation or government investigations; challenges to our contract awards; cyber-attacks or other privacy or data security incidents; the possibility that the expected synergies and value creation from acquired businesses, including businesses we may acquire in the future, will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; the exertion of management's time and our resources, and other expenses incurred and business changes required in connection with complying with the undertakings in connection with any regulatory, governmental or third party consents or approvals for acquisitions; disruption caused by significant completed and pending acquisitions, including, among others, the WellCare Acquisition, making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; the risk that unexpected costs will be incurred in connection with the completion and/or integration of acquisition transactions; changes in expected closing dates, estimated purchase price and accretion for acquisitions; the risk that acquired businesses will not be integrated successfully; the risk that we may not be able to effectively manage our operations as they have expanded as a result of the WellCare Acquisition; restrictions and limitations in connection with our indebtedness; our ability to maintain or achieve improvement in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Star ratings and maintain or achieve improvement in other quality scores in each case that can impact revenue and future growth; availability of debt and equity financing, on terms that are favorable to us; inflation; foreign currency fluctuations; delays in costs associated with development and occupancy of our new East Coast headquarters in Charlotte; economic conditions in the Charlotte metropolitan area and risks and uncertainties discussed in the reports that Centene has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This list of important factors is not intended to be exhaustive. We discuss certain of these matters more fully, as well as certain other factors that may affect our business operations, financial condition and results of operations, in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K. Due to these important factors and risks, we cannot give assurances with respect to our future performance, including without limitation our ability to maintain adequate premium levels or our ability to control our future medical and selling, general and administrative costs.

 

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SOURCE WellCare

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