Staywell Commits $15,000 To Support The March Of Dimes

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 59 percent of pregnancies in Florida are unintended, which can have a significant adverse effect on birth outcomes, according to America's Health Rankings. Compared with women having planned births, research shows those who have unplanned births are less likely to recognize their pregnancy early, to receive early prenatal care or to breastfeed, and are more likely to have low-birth-weight babies, according to Pregnancy Intentions, Maternal Behaviors and Infant Health.

Staywell Health Plans, Inc. is a WellCare health plan dedicated to serving Medicaid members in Florida. (PRNewsFoto/WellCare Health Plans, Inc.) (PRNewsFoto/WellCare Health Plans, Inc.)

Staywell Health Plan, a WellCare (NYSE: WCG) health plan dedicated to serving Medicaid members in Florida, has contributed $15,000 to support the March of Dimes in its mission to lead the fight for the health of all moms and babies. The funds will be used to create culturally appropriate educational materials on effective contraceptive options to reduce unintended pregnancies, particularly through long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC).

"The best way to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy among women who are sexually active is to use effective birth control correctly and consistently," said Dr. Alan Smith, Staywell's chief medical officer.

LARCs provide effective contraception for an extended period without requiring any actions by the women using them. It eliminates some of the challenges of other birth control methods that can lead to unplanned pregnancies.

While LARC is considered reliable and cost-effective, there are several barriers to utilization among women, including lack of knowledge about the options and availability.

"Staywell, like March of Dimes, is empowering families with the knowledge and tools available to have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies," said Smith.

According to the March of Dimes 2017 Premature Birth Report Card, Florida earned a "C" grade for its 10.1 percent preterm birth rate, which is defined as the percent of babies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Premature birth and its consequences is the largest contributor to infant death and increases the risk of neurological disorders and other health problems.

As of Dec. 31, 2017, Staywell serves approximately 751,000 Medicaid members, of which 65,000 members are in the Florida Healthy Kids program, 101,000 Medicare Advantage members, and 30,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan members in Florida.

About WellCare Health Plans, Inc.Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) focuses exclusively on providing government-sponsored managed care services, primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, to families, children, seniors and individuals with complex medical needs. The company serves approximately 4.4 million members nationwide as of Dec. 31, 2017. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company's website at www.wellcare.com or view the company's videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/WellCareHealthPlan.

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SOURCE WellCare Health Plans, Inc.

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