A national managed care company has acquired a small carrier in the Sunshine State.

Humana Inc., Louisville, Ky., has paid about $14 million for Metcare Health Plans Inc., a unit of Metropolitan Health Networks Inc., West Palm Beach, Fla.

Metcare has been providing Medicare Advantage coverage for about 7,300 Florida residents in Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Okeechobee, Polk, Sarasota, St. Lucie and Sumter counties.

Metropolitan’s Provider Service Network has agreed to provide care for the AdvantageCare customers and future Humana customers in the AdvantageCare region, Humana says.

Metropolitan also has agreed to rent access to the Humana provider network in the AdvantageCare service region, Humana says.

The deal probably will not affect Humana’s 2008 earnings, but it could increase annual revenue by about $27 million, Humana says.