WellCare Health Plans, Inc. has named Karen E. Brach state president of MeridianHealth Illinois.

brach karenBrach will be responsible for the overall strategy and operations of the health plan, including its Medicaid plan, Medicare-Medicaid Alignment Initiative plan and both WellCare and Meridian’s Medicare Advantage plans in Illinois.

WellCare completed its acquisition of Meridian on Sept. 1, 2018. Effective Jan. 1, 2019, Harmony Health Plan, Inc., WellCare’s Medicaid health plan in Illinois, and Meridian’s health plan in Illinois combined and now operate as one Medicaid plan – MeridianHealth Illinois.

“As the largest managed care plan in Illinois, Meridian has benefited from Karen’s strong leadership since 2016,” said Gregg MacDonald, WellCare’s divisional president. “Her experience will be an asset as Meridian continues to help Illinois Medicaid and Medicare members achieve the best possible health outcomes through access to quality providers, enhanced benefits and community resources.”

“By merging the best processes and practices of Harmony and Meridian, Meridian will help ensure our members receive the quality resources and care they need to live better, healthier lives,” said Brach.

With more than 15 years of experience in Medicaid and Medicare programs, Brach is currently the president of the board of directors for the Illinois Association of Medicaid Health Plans. Prior to joining Meridian, Brach served as vice president of Medicaid for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and held various positions of increasing responsibility within UnitedHealthcare, including health plan CEO, executive director and vice president of business development.