Centene Corporation Subsidiary Awarded Long Term Care Contracts in Arizona; LTC Contracts Awarded for Maricopa and Yuma/LaPaz

ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 2, 2006--Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) today announced that its specialty company subsidiary, CenCorp Health Solutions (CenCorp), has received notification from the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) that it has been awarded two managed care program contracts to provide Long Term Care (LTC) services.

The contracts are awarded for five years beginning October 1, 2006 and include the geographic service areas of Maricopa and Yuma/LaPaz counties. Services to low income elderly and physically disabled Arizonans will be provided by Bridgeway Health Solutions, a member of the CenCorp family of specialty companies.

William N. Scheffel, Centene Senior Vice President and Chief Executive, Specialty Companies, stated, "We are proud to be involved with the state of Arizona and to have been awarded contracts for two of three service areas for which we applied. We view Arizona's Long Term Care (LTC) program as a model for the nation. As one of three LTC providers in Maricopa County (the largest service area with approximately 13,800 recipients) along with receiving a sole source contract in Yuma/LaPaz area, we consider this award as a very significant milestone for CenCorp."

The Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) was established in December 1988 through a federal 1115 Medicaid waiver to provide long term care services to elderly and disabled persons meeting income and resource requirements and who are at risk of being institutionalized. ALTCS has a total of over 41,000 enrolled members, 22,400 of whom are elderly and physically disabled with remaining enrollees served by the state's Division of Developmental Disabilities. The total annual budget for the ALTCS program is $1.1 billion in Federal, State and County dollars.

Centene initially estimates that these contracts will generate total annual revenues of approximately $100 million to $150 million subject to the timing and transition of members between plans. As details become available, the Company will provide additional updates accordingly.

The information provided in the fifth paragraph above contains forward-looking statements that relate to future events and future financial performance of Centene. These forward-looking statements represent the Company's estimates as of May 2, 2006. 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 payers, 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 is a leading multi-line healthcare enterprise that provides 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 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, St. Louis
             Lisa M. Wilson, 212-759-3929
             Robert J. Schenk, 314-725-4477

    SOURCE: Centene Corporation