Expanded 2024 Wellcare Medicare Advantage Review

Key takeaways:

  • Wellcare offers HMO, PPO, and D-SNPs plans, addressing a wide spectrum of healthcare needs.
  • Some plans include the Spendables card, which is preloaded with funds for over-the-counter items, groceries, and even rent or utility assistance, depending on the specific plan.
  • Certain plans offer a Giveback benefit, covering some or all of the Medicare Part B premium.
  • Many plans have $0 premiums and feature low out-of-pocket maximums, making them budget-friendly options.


Medicare Advantage plans have increasingly become a popular choice for those seeking comprehensive health coverage. Wellcare, a notable player in the Medicare Advantage space, offers a range of plans that combine the benefits of Medicare Parts A and B, with additional perks. A key feature that sets Wellcare apart is its Spendables Over-the-Counter (OTC) Allowance Program. This article delves into the intricacies of the Wellcare Medicare Advantage plans with a special focus on the Spendables OTC Allowance Program, providing an insightful guide for potential users.

Understanding Wellcare Medicare Advantage Plans

Wellcare Medicare Advantage Plans, offered by Wellcare, a subsidiary of Centene Corporation, are an array of health insurance plans designed to cater to different healthcare needs. These plans are known for their rich benefits, including coverage for dental, vision, and hearing services. In many cases, these plans feature $0 monthly premiums, making them an affordable choice for eligible individuals.

  • Dual Access: Wellcare offers Dual Eligible Special Needs plans (D-SNPs) for individuals who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, ensuring comprehensive coverage.
  • $0 Prescription Copays: Wellcare’s D-SNP plans offer $0 prescription copays for all covered prescriptions, significantly reducing medication costs.
  • Flexibility in Providers: Depending on the plan type (HMO, PPO, etc.), members have access to a network of healthcare providers, although the network size may vary based on geographic location.

Spendables OTC Allowance Program

One of the most notable features of Wellcare Medicare Advantage plans is the Spendables OTC Allowance Program. This program provides members with a preloaded card, the Wellcare Spendables Card™, which can be used for purchasing OTC medications and products.

How It Works:

  • Fixed Dollar Amount: Members receive a fixed dollar amount preloaded into the Spendables Card™ to buy necessary OTC items like pain relievers, cold remedies, and toothpaste.
  • Purchasing Flexibility: The card can be used at participating retail locations or for ordering online, offering convenience and flexibility.

Exclusive Benefits:

The program is exclusive to Wellcare Medicare Advantage plan members, ensuring that they have an additional resource to manage their health and wellness needs effectively.

Enrollment and Eligibility

Enrolling in a Wellcare Medicare Advantage plan, including plans with the Spendables OTC Allowance Program, requires meeting specific eligibility criteria:

  • Medicare and Medicaid Eligibility: For D-SNP plans, individuals must be eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Residency: Availability of specific plans and benefits can vary based on state and county of residence.
  • Enrollment Periods: While certain plans allow year-round enrollment, others may be subject to standard Medicare enrollment periods.

Pros and Cons


  • Affordable Care Options: Many plans offer $0 monthly premiums and $0 copays for prescriptions.
  • Additional Benefits: Beyond basic health coverage, members enjoy perks like the Spendables Card™ for OTC purchases.


  • Varied Network Size: Provider networks may be less developed in rural areas.
  • Star Ratings and Member Satisfaction: Wellcare's Medicare Advantage plans have received lower star ratings and member experience scores compared to some other providers.

Market Position and Company Background

  • Market Share: As a Centene Corp. subsidiary, Wellcare holds a significant position in the Medicare Advantage market.
  • Company Developments: The 2020 acquisition of Wellcare by Centene could influence its future offerings and operations.

Navigating Plan Choices

  • Plan Selection: Personal healthcare needs and preferences should guide the choice of plan.
  • Expert Consultation: It's advisable to consult with local agents or carrier representatives for tailored advice.


Wellcare Medicare Advantage plans, particularly with the Spendables OTC Allowance Program, offer a unique blend of comprehensive health coverage and additional benefits. While they present an attractive option for many, potential enrollees should carefully consider plan details, including network size, coverage specifics, and overall plan ratings, to ensure that the plan aligns with their healthcare needs and preferences. As always, consulting with a healthcare advisor or insurance specialist can provide further guidance tailored to individual circumstances.

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