COLUMBIA, Mo. and TAMPA, Fla., March 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Nearly one in three adults and one in 10 children between the ages of 10 and 17 are considered obese in Missouri. According to the National Institutes of Health, obesity increases the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and other diseases. In 2017, Missouri Care, Inc. and the Missouri 4-H are partnering to change these statistics and help 4-H members across the state achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles.

Missouri Care, Inc., a subsidiary of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG), is the exclusive 2017 partner for the 4-H Move Across Missouri program (MOVE), a statewide initiative designed to encourage 4-H clubs, families, individuals, and friends to move by adding more exercise and other activities into their daily routines. Since its inception in 2008, the program has reached more than 600 youth and adults each year. 

4-H MOVE Across Missouri participants can register for the program through their local 4-H chapter and can track their minutes until April 30, 2017. Activities can be part of a 4-H event or done on their own. Individuals and teams that log the most minutes in each county and in the state will receive prizes.

«Missouri has the tenth highest rates of adult obesity and diabetes in the nation,» said Dr. Justin Cramer, Missouri Care medical director. «That’s why we’re proud to work with the 4-H to not only get young people to be more active, but their parents as well, enhancing the health and quality of life for the entire family.»

«The goal is to encourage Missouri youth to lead a physically active lifestyle and to carry these practices into adulthood,» said Alison Copeland, state 4-H youth development specialist. «4-H strives to equip young people with healthy living information and skills that will prepare them physically, emotionally and socially to meet the challenges of the 21st century.» 

To enroll in your local 4-H and participate in MOVE Across Missouri, contact your county’s University of Missouri extension office. To learn more about MOVE Across Missouri, visit

As of Dec. 31, 2016, Missouri Care and WellCare serve approximately 134,000 members in Missouri, including 121,000 MO HealthNet Managed Care (Medicaid) members and 13,000 Medicare Prescription Drug members.

About WellCare Health Plans, Inc.

Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) focuses exclusively on providing government-sponsored managed care services, primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, to families, children, seniors and individuals with complex medical needs. WellCare serves approximately 3.9 million members nationwide as of Dec. 31, 2016. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company’s website at or view the company’s videos at

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SOURCE WellCare Health Plans, Inc.