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January 13, 2005

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4: Statement of changes in beneficial ownership of securities

Published on January 13, 2005

FORM 4
Check this box if no longer subject to Section 16. Form 4 or Form 5 obligations may continue. See Instruction 1(b).
UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP OF SECURITIES

Filed pursuant to Section 16(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 or Section 30(h) of the Investment Company Act of 1940
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(Print or Type Responses)
1. Name and Address of Reporting Person *
DITMORE ROBERT K
  2. Issuer Name and Ticker or Trading Symbol
CENTENE CORP [CNC]
5. Relationship of Reporting Person(s) to Issuer
(Check all applicable)
__X__ Director _____ 10% Owner
_____ Officer (give title below) _____ Other (specify below)
(Last)
(First)
(Middle)
7711 CARONDELET AVENUE, SUITE 800
3. Date of Earliest Transaction (Month/Day/Year)
12/16/2004
(Street)

ST. LOUIS, MO 63105
4. If Amendment, Date Original Filed(Month/Day/Year)
6. Individual or Joint/Group Filing(Check Applicable Line)
_X_ Form filed by One Reporting Person
___ Form filed by More than One Reporting Person
(City)
(State)
(Zip)
Table I - Non-Derivative Securities Acquired, Disposed of, or Beneficially Owned
1.Title of Security
(Instr. 3)
2. Transaction Date (Month/Day/Year) 2A. Deemed Execution Date, if any (Month/Day/Year) 3. Transaction Code
(Instr. 8)
4. Securities Acquired (A) or Disposed of (D)
(Instr. 3, 4 and 5)
5. Amount of Securities Beneficially Owned Following Reported Transaction(s)
(Instr. 3 and 4)
6. Ownership Form: Direct (D) or Indirect (I)
(Instr. 4)
7. Nature of Indirect Beneficial Ownership
(Instr. 4)
Code V Amount (A) or (D) Price
Common Stock 12/16/2004   G V 1,360 D $ 29.55 144,740 D  
Common Stock 12/16/2004   G V 6,800 D $ 29.55 6,800 I By spouse (3)
Common Stock               5,600 I See Footnote (1)
Common Stock               59,200 I See Footnote (2)

Reminder: Report on a separate line for each class of securities beneficially owned directly or indirectly.
Persons who respond to the collection of information contained in this form are not required to respond unless the form displays a currently valid OMB control number. SEC 1474 (9-02)

Table II - Derivative Securities Acquired, Disposed of, or Beneficially Owned
(e.g., puts, calls, warrants, options, convertible securities)
1. Title of Derivative Security
(Instr. 3)
2. Conversion or Exercise Price of Derivative Security 3. Transaction Date (Month/Day/Year) 3A. Deemed Execution Date, if any (Month/Day/Year) 4. Transaction Code
(Instr. 8)
5. Number of Derivative Securities Acquired (A) or Disposed of (D)
(Instr. 3, 4, and 5)
6. Date Exercisable and Expiration Date
(Month/Day/Year)
7. Title and Amount of Underlying Securities
(Instr. 3 and 4)
8. Price of Derivative Security
(Instr. 5)
9. Number of Derivative Securities Beneficially Owned Following Reported Transaction(s)
(Instr. 4)
10. Ownership Form of Derivative Security: Direct (D) or Indirect (I)
(Instr. 4)
11. Nature of Indirect Beneficial Ownership
(Instr. 4)
Code V (A) (D) Date Exercisable Expiration Date Title Amount or Number of Shares

Reporting Owners

Reporting Owner Name / Address Relationships
 Director  10% Owner  Officer  Other
DITMORE ROBERT K
7711 CARONDELET AVENUE
SUITE 800
ST. LOUIS, MO 63105
  X      

Signatures

 /s/ Robert K. Ditmore   01/13/2005
**Signature of Reporting Person Date

Explanation of Responses:

* If the form is filed by more than one reporting person, see Instruction 4(b)(v).
** Intentional misstatements or omissions of facts constitute Federal Criminal Violations. See 18 U.S.C. 1001 and 15 U.S.C. 78ff(a).
(1) Owned by the Ditmore 2002 Charitable Remainder Trust, of which Mr. Ditmore is a co-trustee. Mr. Ditmore disclaims beneficial ownership except to the extent of his pecuniary interest therein, and the inclusion of these shares in this report shall not be deemed an admission of beneficial ownership of all of the reported shares for purposes of Section 16 or for any other purpose.
(2) Owned by the Ditmore Family Management Company LLC, of which Mr. Ditmore is a chief manager. Mr. Ditmore disclaims beneficial ownership except to the extent of his pecuniary interest therein, and the inclusion of these shares in this report shall not be deemed an admission of beneficial ownership of all of the reported shares for purposes of Section 16 or for any other purpose.
(3) Gift to spouse who shares Mr. Ditmore's household. Mr. Ditmore disclaims beneficial ownership of the shares held by his spouse, and the inclusion of these shares in this report shall not be deemed an admission of beneficial ownership of all of the reported shares for purposes of Section 16 or for any other purpose.

Note: File three copies of this Form, one of which must be manually signed. If space is insufficient, see Instruction 6 for procedure.

Potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information contained in this form are not required to respond unless the form displays a currently valid OMB number.