Centene Corporation Selected for Louisiana Medicaid Contract

ST. LOUIS, July 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) announced today that Louisiana Healthcare Connections, a subsidiary of Centene, has been selected to contract with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to serve Medicaid beneficiaries in Louisiana.  Louisiana Healthcare Connections is a joint venture between Centene and the Louisiana Partnership for Choice and Access, an organization comprised of 19 non-profit Louisiana Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).  Centene owns a 51% interest in Louisiana Healthcare Connections, will be responsible for management of the health plan operations and will deploy its specialty company subsidiaries where applicable. The contract has a three-year term with the potential for a two-year extension.

Approximately 875,000 beneficiaries will be eligible to be served by coordinated care networks in the state's three Geographic Services Areas (GSAs).  Louisiana Healthcare Connections will provide healthcare services to Medicaid enrollees in each of the state's three GSAs. Services for these members are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2012, with a three-phased membership roll-out ending in the second quarter of 2012.

"We are honored to be selected to offer the citizens of Louisiana coordinated healthcare services and programs," said Jesse Hunter, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and Operating Group Chairman of Centene.  "Centene and our partner FQHCs share a vision of providing accessible, high-quality care for the medically underserved populations in Louisiana and we look forward to working together to execute on that vision."

"This contract will mark Centene's entry into its 14th state, and with it comes our continuing commitment to working side-by-side with providers in delivering high-quality care that improves the medical outcomes for our members in a cost-effective manner," said Michael F. Neidorff, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Centene.

Our preliminary estimates indicate that we will serve 160,000 to 180,000 members in Louisiana generating annualized revenue of $330 million to $370 million.  Updated financial guidance including this award will be provided during Centene's 2011 second quarter financial results conference call on July 26, 2011.

About Centene Corporation

Centene Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, is a leading multi-line healthcare enterprise that provides programs and related services to the rising number of under-insured and uninsured individuals. Many receive benefits provided under Medicaid, including the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as well as Aged, Blind or Disabled (ABD), Foster Care and long-term care, in addition to other state-sponsored programs, and Medicare (Special Needs Plans). Centene's CeltiCare subsidiary offers states unique, "exchange based" and other cost-effective coverage solutions for low-income populations. The Company operates local health plans and offers a range of health insurance solutions. It also contracts with other healthcare and commercial organizations to provide specialty services including behavioral health, life and health management, managed vision, telehealth services, and pharmacy benefits management. More information regarding Centene is available at www.centene.com.

The information provided in this press release contains forward-looking statements that relate to future events and future financial performance of Centene.  Subsequent events and developments may cause the Company's estimates to change.  The Company disclaims any obligation to update this forward-looking financial information in the future.  Readers are cautioned that matters subject to forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including economic, regulatory, competitive and other factors that may cause Centene's or its 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.  Actual results may differ from projections or estimates due to a variety of important factors, including Centene's ability to accurately predict and effectively manage health benefits and other operating expenses, competition, membership and revenue projections, timing of regulatory contract approval, changes in healthcare practices, changes in federal or state laws or regulations, inflation, provider contract changes, new technologies, reduction in provider payments by governmental payors, major epidemics, disasters and numerous other factors affecting the delivery and cost of healthcare.  The expiration, cancellation or suspension of Centene's Medicaid Managed Care contracts by state governments would also negatively affect Centene. 

SOURCE Centene Corporation