The health insurance arm of UnitedHealth Group Inc. is buying Preferred Care Partners Inc. and Medical HealthCare Plans Inc.

Preferred Care, Miami, was started in 2001. It now has 50,000 Medicare Advantage plan enrollees in South Florida, Central Florida and the Tampa, Fla., area. It also has 5,000 Medicaid plan enrollees.

Medica, Coral Gables, Fla., has 35,000 Medicare Advantage enrollees and 7,200 Medicaid enrollees in the Miami area and the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., area.

UnitedHealth is not saying how much it is paying for the companies, but it says it hopes to get the regulatory approvals it needs to complete the deals later this year.

UnitedHealth is already a major player in the Florida health insurance market, and it employs about 5,000 people in the state. Its Florida provider network has contracts with 21,000 doctors and 161 hospitals.

The company notes that it will get 6 primary care medical offices when it completes the Preferred Care deal and 2 when it completes the Medica deal.