WellCare Health Plans Inc. says it will be selling Medicare managed care plans in more parishes in Louisiana.[@@]

The Tampa, Fla., insurer says it has received government approval to sell coverage in Orleans and Jefferson parishes in the New Orleans market and the East Feliciana, Point Coupee, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana parishes.

The expansion will increase the number of Louisiana Medicare beneficiaries eligible to buy WellCare coverage to 217,000, from 70,000, WellCare says.

WellCare administers health plans for 765,000 government health coverage program members in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana and New York.