Q:

What is the WellCare website and how does it work?

A:

Quick Answer

WellCare is a company offering private health care plans to Medicare and Medicaid recipients that control and reduce unnecessary out-of-pocket medical costs. Guests on the WellCare website can choose the relevant qualifying program, and then either sign up online or call by phone for more information on eligibility.

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Full Answer

Managed care programs offered by companies like WellCare in theory offer better coverage for the same or lesser cost than an individual could achieve on her own via economies of scale, expert knowledge and specialized labor. Managed care programs emphasize preventative care and a shift of the financial burden from the enrolled individuals.

Managed care programs perform all the comparison of medical services to provide the best care for a low cost, with minimal input or time required from the enrolled individual. In exchange, managed care programs restrict enrolled individuals to a list of approved medical services, including physicians and pharmacies. This list of approved services is known as a "network" collectively, or as a "network provider" individually. The company offering the managed care program contracts out with these selected network providers in order to guarantee quality of health care and to minimize costs. Non-network providers are sometimes covered, but at a higher cost.

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