NU Online News Service, Oct. 14, 2004, 4:38 a.m. EDT

WellCare Health Plans Inc., Tampa, Fla., will be providing managed care coverage for elderly and disabled residents of Baton Rouge, La.[@@]

Federal regulators have given WellCare permission to set up a Medicare managed care plan in Ascencion, East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes, the 3 parishes that make up the Baton Rouge metropolitan area, WellCare says.

The area is home to 68,000 Medicare beneficiaries.

WellCare already provides managed care services for 695,000 government health program members in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New York and communities in Louisiana other than Baton Rouge.