As 2017 comes to a close, we’re looking back at WellCare’s big stories of the year.
As a company, WellCare continued to grow, expanding into new markets. In January, the company launched its Medicaid program in Nebraska and throughout the year welcomed new team members from Arizona, Maine and North Carolina. We also expanded our presence in Missouri and made a commitment to serve Illinois in 2018.
WellCare also continued offering excellent care and customer service to its members. In Medicaid, WellCare’s National Center for Quality Assurance (NCQA) ratings continued to improve with its New York plan receiving its first-ever four-rating. Only 20 percent of Medicaid plans achieve this prestigious score. WellCare was also the top rated Medicaid plan in Georgia and Kentucky for consumer satisfaction according to the NCQA 2017 – 2018 Medicaid Health Insurance Plan Ratings.
Meanwhile, in Medicare, our Florida plan received a four-out-of-five-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for quality and service. Today, 40 percent of WellCare members are now in plans that scored four stars in the 2018 Medicare Star rankings.
In 2017, WellCare also revealed a new brand tagline: Beyond Healthcare. A Better You. This tagline represents our brand promise of treating the whole person and helping our members overcome social and economic barriers to care—many of which go beyond just healthcare.
In line with our brand promise, WellCare continued its mission of service. Our associates embedded themselves in our local communities by volunteering at mobile pantries and food banks; building homes; and supporting students through training and competition. We helped raise awareness around cervical cancer, went “red” for heart disease and “pink” for breast cancer, and we recognized the men and women across the country, including the doctors and nurses who support our healthcare system and the veterans who keep us safe.
The WellCare Community Foundation also announced a three-year partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America to support its “Bigs in Blue” program, and we met “Welly” through a donation to Southeastern Guide Dogs to support veterans and those with visual impairments. Our local markets supported their communities through a partnership with Junior Achievement Biztown and offered scholarships to address gaps in the healthcare system, including shortages of certified nursing assistants in Florida and primary care physicians in rural parts of Kentucky.
For these efforts and more, WellCare was recognized by the Points of Light Foundation with “The Civic 50” award for being a leader in the healthcare industry and engaging in outstanding community service and by the Tampa Bay Business Journal for being a top corporate philanthropy.
But 2017 also brought us tragedy. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma wreaked havoc on much of the Southeast. As a Tampa-based company, these hurricanes literally “hit home” for many of us. Nevertheless, our associates banded together to help our members, providers and each other. To date, dozens of associates have donated nearly $100,000 of their own savings to help their fellow associates and support WellCare’s Associate Assistance Fund. Additionally, WellCare provided Volunteer Florida with a $1 million donation to assist with disaster recovery efforts. During the hurricanes, associates around the country shared information about resources available to those impacted by the hurricanes, including WellCare’s Community Assistance Line and Welcome Rooms. (It’s telling these posts were WellCare’s most highly shared Facebook posts in 2017.)
As a company, we’re proud of our accomplishments in 2017. But there’s still much work to be done. We look forward to 2018 and finding innovative new ways to partner with our states, establishing strong working relationships with our providers and helping our more than 4.3 million members across the country live better, healthier lives.