Centene Corporation to Sell Missouri Health Plan Assets to HealthCare USA of Missouri, LLC

ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 11, 2006--Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell certain assets of FirstGuard Health Plan Missouri, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene, to HealthCare USA of Missouri, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Coventry Health Care, Inc. As of September 30, 2006, FirstGuard has 32,200 members.

The transaction is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2007. Excluding the effect of any gain or loss on the disposition of these assets, Centene expects the effect of this transaction to be neutral to $0.02 accretive to 2007 earnings per share.

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, 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.

About Centene Corporation

Centene Corporation provides multi-line managed care programs and related services to individuals receiving benefits under Medicaid, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The Company operates health plans in Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. In addition, the Company contracts with other healthcare organizations to provide specialty services, including behavioral health, disease management, managed vision, nurse triage, pharmacy benefits management and treatment compliance. Information regarding Centene is available via the Internet at www.centene.com.

CONTACT: Centene Corporation, St. Louis
Lisa M. Wilson, 212-759-3929
Senior Vice President, Investor Relations
Robert J. Schenk, 314-725-4477
Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Communications

SOURCE: Centene Corporation