Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Florida Gov. Rick Scott's administration awarded new Medicaid contracts to insurers. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida has awarded new five-year Medicaid contracts collectively worth more than $15 billion annually to a handful of health insurance companies, most of which already had contracts with the state.

The big picture: Florida runs one of the largest Medicaid programs in the country, making these contracts that start in 2019 extremely important to the insurers that get them as well as the 3.1 million low-income people who get care through the plans.

The winners: Incumbent insurers Humana, WellCare Health Plans and Centene gained hundreds of thousands of new Medicaid members. Gary Taylor of J.P. Morgan Securities estimates that translates into $1.3 billion in new revenue for Humana, $500 million in new revenue for WellCare and $264 million in new revenue for Centene.

  • Aetna, Anthem and UnitedHealth Group also retained contracts, although they didn't gain market share.

The losers: Magellan Health and Molina Healthcare, both of which had contracts with Florida, were completely shut out. Magellan already plans on appealing the state's decision. Wall Street investors hammered Magellan's stock, which fell 17% Wednesday, on the prospect of the company losing more than $600 million, or a third of its annual revenue.

Some context: Most health insurers have a 2% profit margin on these kinds of Medicaid contracts.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
25 mins ago - Sports

College basketball is back

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new season of college basketball begins Wednesday, and the goal is clear: March Madness must be played.

Why it matters: On March 12, 2020, the lights went out on college basketball, depriving teams like Baylor (who won our tournament simulation), Dayton, San Diego State and Florida State of perhaps their best chance to win a national championship.

31 mins ago - World

Scoop: Israeli military prepares for possibility Trump will strike Iran

Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends a cabinet meeting. Photo: Abir Sultan/POOL/AFP via Getty

The Israel Defense Forces have in recent weeks been instructed to prepare for the possibility that the U.S. will conduct a military strike against Iran before President Trump leaves office, senior Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government instructed the IDF to undertake the preparations not because of any intelligence or assessment that Trump will order such a strike, but because senior Israeli officials anticipate “a very sensitive period” ahead of Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.

Wall Street bets it all on a vaccine

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

It's the time of year when Wall Street shops are rolling out predictions for where they see the stock market headed in the coming year. There's one common theme: Widespread distribution of a vaccine is the reason to be bullish.

Why it matters: Analysts say vaccines will help the economy heal, corporate profits rebound and stock market continue its upward trajectory.