Centene Corporation Closes Acquisition of Managed Vision Business of OptiCare Health Systems; Specialty Services Now to Include Vision Benefit Management

ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 13, 2006--Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) announced today that it has closed the acquisition of the managed vision business of OptiCare Health Systems, Inc. through its specialty company subsidiary, CenCorp Health Solutions, Inc. The OptiCare Managed Vision business, based in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, contracts with insurers, employer groups, managed care plans, HMOs and other third-party payors to manage claims payment and other administrative services of eye health benefits.

Michael F. Neidorff, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Centene, stated, "This acquisition furthers our goal of building a multi-line healthcare enterprise. With this addition to CenCorp Health Solutions, we have continued to expand our specialty capability to include vision benefit management as these services will now be available to Centene's Medicaid health plans and external customers. This transaction is consistent with our acquisition criteria and our methodical approach to growth for 2006 and beyond."

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, nurse triage, pharmacy benefit management and treatment compliance. Information regarding Centene is available via the Internet at www.centene.com.

    CONTACT: Centene Corporation
             Lisa M. Wilson, 212-759-3929
             Robert J. Schenk, 314-725-4477

    SOURCE: Centene Corporation