Centene Corporation Announces Agreement to Purchase Texas Universities Health Plan CHIP Business Covering 26,000 Children's Lives

June 20, 2002 at 7:02 AM EDT
ST. LOUIS, Jun 20, 2002 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Centene Corporation (NASDAQ:CNTE) today announced that its subsidiary Superior HealthPlan, Inc., has signed a definitive agreement with Texas Universities Health Plan, Inc. (TUHP) to purchase the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) contract in the San Antonio, El Paso, and Amarillo and Lubbock, Texas CHIP service areas covering 26,000 children's lives. The agreement is subject to the approval of state regulators, which is expected to be based in part on further evaluation of the viability of the service area expansion.

Funded by state and federal governments, CHIP is a program designed for families who have an income level too high to qualify for Medicaid, but not high enough to afford commercial health insurance. The program provides affordable insurance coverage for uninsured children up to 18 years of age.

Mr. Michael F. Neidorff, President and Chief Executive Officer of Centene, said, "This is consistent with our previously stated growth strategy to increase our covered Medicaid lives in existing Centene markets, while continuing to enter new markets and to help states effectively manage their health care costs and budgets. If approved, effective later this year, Centene Corporation's Texas subsidiary, Superior HealthPlan, will provide health insurance for approximately 26,000 children enrolled in the Texas CHIP program in the San Antonio, El Paso, Amarillo and Lubbock, Texas CHIP service areas."

"We will work closely with TUHP and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to ensure that there will be no interruption of services for these children," Mr. Neidorff said. "They will be able to continue to use their same doctors and hospitals for care."

Superior HealthPlan currently provides managed care services for the Texas Medicaid population with offices in El Paso, Austin and San Antonio and has approximately 60,000 members.

Centene Corporation provides managed care programs and related services to individuals receiving benefits under Medicaid, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and CHIP. The Company has health plans in Wisconsin, Indiana and Texas with a membership totaling approximately 250,000 persons. More information about Centene is available via the Internet at www.centene.com

The fourth Paragraph of this press release contains forward-looking statements that relate to future events or future financial performance of Centene. These forward-looking statements represent the company's estimates as of June 25, 2002. Subsequent events and developments may cause the company's estimate 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 Centene's 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 integrate the acquired CHIP business effectively, its ability to accurately predict and effectively manage health benefits and other operating expenses, competition, changes in health care 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 health care. The expiration, cancellation or suspension of Centene's Medicaid managed care contracts by state governments would also negatively impact Centene.

CONTACT:          Centene Corporation
                  Karey L. Witty, 314/725-4477
                  or
                  In-Site Communications
                  Investor Relations:
                  Lisa Carlton-Wilson, 212/759-3929

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