Centene Announces New Benefits For Employees During COVID-19 Pandemic
- Centene to provide up to three months paid leave for employees who choose to join a medical reserve force
- Company announces additional employee benefits including waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19-related treatment and emergency paid sick leave
- Company to also provide one-time payment of $750 to employees in a small number of critical functions which are performed in Centene offices
- Centene to continue hiring across the Company; Centene looking to fill nearly 2,000 open roles

ST. LOUIS, April 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Centene (NYSE: CNC) today announced that it is establishing a Medical Reserve Leave policy to support clinical staff who want to join a medical reserve force and serve their communities, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The policy will support clinical staff by providing paid leave and benefits for up to three months of volunteer service.

"Our employees have a deep commitment to take care of their communities in times of need and we will always support their passion to serve," said Michael Neidorff, Chairman, President and CEO of Centene. "Our medical reserve leave policy will ensure our clinical staff are paid and that their benefits are protected during their time of service."

If an employee decides to take advantage of the medical reserve leave benefit, they will:

  • Maintain pay in accordance with the number of hours regularly scheduled to work;
  • Maintain enrolled benefit coverage as an active employee;
  • Continue to accrue paid time off; and
  • Maintain eligibility for holiday pay for any holidays that occur during the time of service.

To be eligible for the benefit, an employee's assistance must be requested by state officials.

Today the Company also announced additional benefits to support employees in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Waiving prior authorizations and employee cost sharing for COVID-19 related screening, testing and treatment
For employees enrolled in the Company's employer sponsored medical plan, the Company will waive COVID-19 related prior authorizations and employee cost sharing for related screening, testing and treatment. As part of this effort, the Company will also cover all telehealth services related to COVID-19 for these employees, as well as all COVID-19 covered healthcare services that can be administered virtually through May 31, 2020.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Benefit
To encourage employees to take care of themselves and their loved ones, the Company is providing up to 10 additional working days of paid leave to support employees, or those employees who have to care for a family or household member, with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, a presumptive diagnosis, or who are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

Supporting Employees Working From Centene Offices
While most of Centene's workforce is working from home, a few employees perform critical services from Centene offices. These services, amongst others, ensure continuity of care for members, provider claims are paid, and enrollment and mail are processed and secure. While we are following all CDC guidelines to ensure their safety, the Company will be providing them with a one-time payment of $750 in appreciation and recognition of their willingness to serve their important in office roles. The Company's support services will continue to provide assistance to these employees, and enhanced health and safety protocols such as daily cleaning and disinfecting will remain in place.  We will also continue restricting non-essential guests and increased social distancing in these offices until further notice.

Hiring continues across the country
The Company affirms its commitment to hiring during the pandemic and is continuing to work to fill nearly 2,000 open positions across the country. The Company has continued to hold job fairs virtually, with six virtual job fairs held last month, and two more planned in the coming weeks. If you are interested in working for Centene, please visit https://jobs.centene.com/ for more information.

About Centene Corporation
Centene Corporation, a Fortune 100 company, is a leading multi-national healthcare enterprise that is committed to helping people live healthier lives. The Company takes a local approach – with local brands and local teams - to provide fully integrated, high-quality, and cost-effective services to government-sponsored and commercial healthcare programs, focusing on under-insured and uninsured individuals. Centene offers affordable and high-quality products to nearly 1 in 15 individuals across the nation, including Medicaid and Medicare members (including Medicare Prescription Drug Plans) as well as individuals and families served by the Health Insurance Marketplace, the TRICARE program, and individuals in correctional facilities. The Company also serves several international markets, and contracts with other healthcare and commercial organizations to provide a variety of specialty services focused on treating the whole person. Centene focuses on long-term growth and the development of its people, systems and capabilities so that it can better serve its members, providers, local communities, and government partners.

Centene uses its investor relations website to publish important information about the company, including information that may be deemed material to investors. Financial and other information about Centene is routinely posted and is accessible on Centene's investor relations website, http://www.centene.com/investors.

Forward-Looking Statements

All statements, other than statements of current or historical fact, contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Without limiting the foregoing, forward-looking statements often use words such as "believe," "anticipate," "plan," "expect," "estimate," "intend," "seek," "target," "goal," "may," "will," "would," "could," "should," "can," "continue" and other similar words or expressions (and the negative thereof). Centene (the Company, our, or we) intends such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe-harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and we are including this statement for purposes of complying with these safe-harbor provisions. In particular, these statements include, without limitation, statements about our future operating or financial performance, market opportunity, growth strategy, competition, expected activities in completed and future acquisitions, including statements about the impact of our recently completed acquisition (the WellCare Acquisition) of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (WellCare), other recent and future acquisitions, investments and the adequacy of our available cash resources.  These forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and are based on numerous assumptions and assessments made by us in light of our experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, business strategies, operating environments, future developments and other factors we believe appropriate. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and are subject to change because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future, including economic, regulatory, competitive and other factors that may cause our or our industry's actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. All forward-looking statements included in this press release are based on information available to us on the date hereof. Except as may be otherwise required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements included in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date hereof. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, as actual results may differ materially from projections, estimates, or other forward-looking statements due to a variety of important factors, variables and events including but not limited to: the impact of COVID-19 on global markets, economic conditions and the healthcare industry and our results of operations, which is unknown, uncertainty as to our expected financial performance following completion of the WellCare Acquisition; the possibility that the expected synergies and value creation from the WellCare Acquisition will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; the risk that unexpected costs will be incurred in connection with the integration of the WellCare Acquisition or that the integration of WellCare will be more difficult or time consuming than expected; unexpected costs, charges or expenses resulting from the WellCare Acquisition; the inability to retain key personnel; disruption from the completion of the WellCare Acquisition, including potential adverse reactions or changes to business relationships with customers, employees, suppliers or regulators, making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; the risk that, following the WellCare Acquisition, we may not be able to effectively manage our expanded operations; our ability to accurately predict and effectively manage health benefits and other operating expenses and reserves; competition; membership and revenue declines or unexpected trends; changes in healthcare practices, new technologies, and advances in medicine; increased healthcare costs; changes in economic, political or market conditions; changes in federal or state laws or regulations, including changes with respect to income tax reform or government healthcare programs as well as changes with respect to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act, collectively referred to as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and any regulations enacted thereunder that may result from changing political conditions or judicial actions, including the ultimate outcome in "Texas v. United States of America" regarding the constitutionality of the ACA; rate cuts or other payment reductions or delays by governmental payors and other risks and uncertainties affecting our government businesses; our ability to adequately price products on the Health Insurance Marketplaces and other commercial and Medicare products; tax matters; disasters or major epidemics; the outcome of legal and regulatory proceedings; changes in expected contract start dates; provider, state, federal and other contract changes and timing of regulatory approval of contracts; the expiration, suspension, or termination of our contracts with federal or state governments (including but not limited to Medicaid, Medicare, TRICARE or other customers); the difficulty of predicting the timing or outcome of pending or future litigation or government investigations; challenges to our contract awards;  cyber-attacks or other privacy or data security incidents; the possibility that the expected synergies and value creation from acquired businesses, including, without limitation, the WellCare Acquisition, will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; the exertion of management's time and our resources, and other expenses incurred and business changes required in connection with complying with the undertakings in connection with any regulatory, governmental or third party consents or approvals for acquisitions; disruption caused by significant completed and pending acquisitions, including, among others, the WellCare Acquisition, making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; the risk that unexpected costs will be incurred in connection with the completion and/or integration of acquisition transactions; changes in expected closing dates, estimated purchase price and accretion for acquisitions; the risk that acquired businesses, including WellCare, will not be integrated successfully; the risk that we may not be able to effectively manage our operations as they have expanded as a result of the WellCare Acquisition; restrictions and limitations in connection with our indebtedness; our ability to maintain or achieve improvement in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Star ratings and maintain or achieve improvement in other quality scores in each case that can impact revenue and future growth; availability of debt and equity financing, on terms that are favorable to us; inflation; foreign currency fluctuations; and risks and uncertainties discussed in the reports that Centene has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This list of important factors is not intended to be exhaustive. We discuss certain of these matters more fully, as well as certain other factors that may affect our business operations, financial condition and results of operations, in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K. Due to these important factors and risks, we cannot give assurances with respect to our future performance, including without limitation our ability to maintain adequate premium levels or our ability to control our future medical and selling, general and administrative costs.


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SOURCE Centene Corporation