John R. Roberts Elected to Centene Corporation Board of Directors; Steve Bartlett Nominated

ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 15, 2004--Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) announced today that John R. Roberts, Executive Director of Civic Progress of St. Louis, was elected to the Company's Board of Directors on March 12, 2004 for an initial one-year term as a Class I director. Steve Bartlett, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Financial Services Roundtable, has been nominated as a Class III director and will assume the seat being vacated by Claire W. Johnson, a current board member, who will not run for re-election. Richard P. Wiederhold was also re-nominated as a Class III director.

Michael F. Neidorff, Centene's President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "It is with great pleasure that we welcome John Roberts to our Board of Directors, who will also serve as a member of Centene's Audit Committee. He brings an invaluable perspective as we continue to build our Company to conform to the highest standards of corporate governance and financial transparency. Steve Bartlett's experience in government affairs, public policy and his financial background will bring important insights and help Centene at the local and national level.

"I would also like to thank Claire Johnson for his significant contributions over the years and ongoing dedication to ensuring that Medicaid recipients receive high quality care," concluded Neidorff.

Mr. Roberts, who retired from Arthur Andersen LLP in 1998, serves on the boards of Energizer Holdings, Inc. and Union Planters Corporation. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and received a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from the University of Alabama.

Mr. Bartlett served as the Mayor of Dallas, Texas (1991-95), a Member of the United States Congress (1983-91), and on the Dallas City Council (1977-81). He has previously served on the Board of Directors of several public companies and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas, Austin.

The Financial Services Roundtable is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association whose members include 100 large financial services organizations.

About Centene Corporation

Centene Corporation provides 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 Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. In addition, the Company contracts with other healthcare organizations to provide specialty services including behavioral health, nurse triage and pharmacy compliance. Information regarding Centene is available via the Internet at

    CONTACT: Centene Corporation
             Mr. Karey L. Witty, 314/725-4477
             Investor Relations:
             Lisa M. Wilson, 212/759-3929

    SOURCE: Centene Corporation