✦ Having now satisfied all necessary regulatory requirements, Centene Corp. and WellCare Health Plans, Inc. closed their $17 billion deal on Jan. 23. Centene is the country’s largest managed Medicaid insurer and the biggest player on the Affordable Care Act exchanges, and the acquisition of WellCare will increase its footprint in the Medicare Advantage market. Centene now serves more than 24 million members across all 50 states, according to a press release. With the completion of the transaction, the divestitures of Centene’s Illinois Medicaid and Medicare Advantage plans, WellCare’s Missouri Medicaid and Medicare Advantage plans and WellCare’s Nebraska Medicaid plan have also closed, the companies noted. Visit https://bit.ly/2uoxotk.
✦ Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and 17 other Blues plans unveiled a partnership with Civica Rx — the not-for-profit generic drugmaker founded by health systems and national charities — which will “create a new subsidiary dedicated to lowering the cost of selected generic drugs.” The Blues subsidiary will acquire and develop Abbreviated New Drug Applications for generic drugs that have a high price tag due to limited competition, and it will collaborate with Civica and manufacturing partners to bring more affordable generic drugs to market, with the first drugs expected by 2022. Visit https://prn.to/37ohhKC.