SOURCE: Bravo Health

Bravo Health

August 27, 2010 07:30 ET

Bravo Health Signs Agreement to Be Acquired by HealthSpring

Combined Companies to Become Seventh Largest Medicare Advantage Insurer

BALTIMORE, MD--(Marketwire - August 27, 2010) -  Bravo Health, a provider of Medicare Advantage plans dedicated to offering beneficiaries access to high quality, cost-effective health care, today announced it entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by HealthSpring (NYSE: HS), a publicly traded, Nashville-based company. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close by the end of the year.

HealthSpring is one of the country's largest Medicare Advantage coordinated care plans with operations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas, as well as a national stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan (PDP). Bravo Health offers Medicare Advantage plans in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington, D.C., and stand-alone PDP plans in 43 states. Together, the companies will become the seventh largest Medicare Advantage provider in the country -- the largest focused exclusively on this program -- and the ninth largest stand-alone prescription drug plan.

"I cannot think of a more compatible partner for Bravo Health than HealthSpring, as we both operate Medicare Advantage plans committed to improving the quality of health care for our members while engaging providers and rewarding them for effectively managing that health care," said Jeff Folick, chairman and chief executive officer of Bravo Health. "Our members, providers and associates will all benefit from the combined size of the new company in the post-health care reform environment. This combination demonstrates HealthSpring's commitment to the future of Medicare Advantage, and I look forward to working with them to help shape what I believe will be an organization that contributes significantly to the program's long-term success."

2010 has been the most successful year in Bravo Health's history. The company announced last month that its Medicare Advantage membership grew to more than 100,000, up from approximately 77,000 at the end of 2009.

"I consider a partnership with Bravo Health to be ideal for HealthSpring, as our companies are philosophically and culturally very similar," said Herbert A. Fritch, chairman and chief executive officer of HealthSpring. "We agree the best way to deliver high quality, appropriate health care and improve clinical outcomes is to align the interests of members and providers. I look forward to accomplishing even more as one company."

All Bravo Health member benefits, customer service contacts, business processes and agreements, and provider contracts remain unchanged at this time.

About Bravo Health
Founded in 1996, Bravo Health's licensed subsidiaries provide Medicare beneficiaries access to high quality, cost-effective health care. With more than 390,000 members, Bravo Health's licensed subsidiaries offer Medicare Advantage health plans in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington, D.C. and offer Part D Prescription Drug Plans in 43 states. For more information, visit www.bravohealth.com.

About HealthSpring
HealthSpring is based in Nashville, TN, and is one of the country's largest Medicare Advantage coordinated care plans. HealthSpring currently owns and operates Medicare Advantage plans in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas and also offers a national stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan. For more information, visit www.healthspring.com. Media information is available at HealthSpring's press site: http://press.healthspring.com.