Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)


Cover - shares
6 Months Ended
Jun. 30, 2019
Jul. 12, 2019
Cover page.    
Document Type 10-Q  
Document Quarterly Report true  
Document Transition Report false  
Document Period End Date Jun. 30, 2019  
Entity File Number 001-31826  
Entity Registrant Name CENTENE CORPORATION  
Entity Incorporation, State or Country Code DE  
Entity Tax Identification Number 42-1406317  
Entity Address, Address Line One 7700 Forsyth Boulevard  
Entity Address, City or Town St. Louis,  
Entity Address, State or Province MO  
Entity Address, Postal Zip Code 63105  
Title of 12(b) Security Common Stock $0.001 Par Value  
Trading Symbol CNC  
City Area Code 314  
Local Phone Number 725-4477   
Security Exchange Name NYSE  
Entity Current Reporting Status Yes  
Entity Interactive Data Current Yes  
Entity Filer Category Large Accelerated Filer  
Entity Small Business false  
Entity Emerging Growth Company false  
Entity Shell Company false  
Entity Central Index Key 0001071739  
Current Fiscal Year End Date --12-31  
Document Fiscal Year Focus 2019  
Document Fiscal Period Focus Q2  
Amendment Flag false  
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding   413,605,377