Health insurer WellPoint Inc. is buying managed care provider Amerigroup Corp., saying the deal will help it better serve recipients of a governmental health care program for the needy and disabled.

Amerigroup manages publicly funded health programs such as Medicaid. It operates in Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey and nine other states. The combined company will serve Medicaid recipients in 19 states.

WellPoint said it will pay $92 for each Amerigroup share—a 43-percent premium to the company's closing price Friday of $64.34. The companies put the total value of the deal at about $4.9 billion. WellPoint will fund the acquisition with available cash, commercial paper and by issuing new debt, it said.

Once the buyout is complete, WellPoint and its affiliated Medicaid plans will serve more than 4.5 million beneficiaries of state-sponsored health care programs. It also will have a presence in 13 states with significant numbers of people eligible for managed care under dual government programs, including the four largest states that have a combined $105 billion in annual dual eligible spending. The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2013.

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