Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Condensed Financial Information Of Registrant (Condensed Balance Sheets) (Details)

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Condensed Financial Information Of Registrant (Condensed Balance Sheets) (Details) (USD $)
In Thousands, unless otherwise specified
Dec. 31, 2013
Dec. 31, 2012
Dec. 31, 2011
Dec. 31, 2010
Cash and cash equivalents $ 1,038,073 $ 843,952 $ 573,698 $ 434,166
Short-term investments 102,126 138,101    
Other current assets 217,661 93,322    
Total current assets 1,800,173 1,405,825    
Long-term investments 791,900 554,770    
Other long-term assets 59,357 64,278    
Total assets 3,529,300 2,773,905    
Current liabilities 1,559,121 1,229,313    
Long-term debt 665,697 535,481    
Other long-term liabilities 60,015 54,987    
Total liabilities 2,285,861 1,820,138    
Common stock, $.001 par value; authorized 100,000,000 shares; 58,673,215 issued and 55,319,239 outstanding at December 31, 2013, and 55,339,160 issued and 52,329,248 outstanding at December 31, 2012 59 55    
Additional paid-in capital 594,326 450,856    
Unrealized gain on investments, net of tax (2,620) 5,189    
Retained earnings 731,919 566,820    
Treasury stock, at cost (3,353,976 and 3,009,912 shares, respectively) (89,643) (69,864)    
Total Centene stockholders' equity 1,234,041 953,056    
Noncontrolling interest 9,398 711    
Total stockholders' equity 1,243,439 953,767 936,419 797,055
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity 3,529,300 2,773,905    
Parent Company [Member]
       
Cash and cash equivalents 2,740 22,279 28,527 9,380
Short-term investments 6,000 6,500    
Other current assets 124,903 42,230    
Total current assets 133,643 71,009    
Long-term investments 8,070 1,356    
Investment in subsidiaries 1,667,258 1,298,648    
Other long-term assets 31,876 42,523    
Total assets 1,840,847 1,413,536    
Current liabilities 4,460 4,333    
Long-term debt 590,628 449,127    
Other long-term liabilities 2,320 6,309    
Total liabilities 597,408 459,769    
Common stock, $.001 par value; authorized 100,000,000 shares; 58,673,215 issued and 55,319,239 outstanding at December 31, 2013, and 55,339,160 issued and 52,329,248 outstanding at December 31, 2012 59 55    
Additional paid-in capital 594,326 450,856    
Unrealized gain on investments, net of tax (2,620) 5,189    
Retained earnings 731,919 566,820    
Treasury stock, at cost (3,353,976 and 3,009,912 shares, respectively) (89,643) (69,864)    
Total Centene stockholders' equity 1,234,041 953,056    
Noncontrolling interest 9,398 711    
Total stockholders' equity 1,243,439 953,767    
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $ 1,840,847 $ 1,413,536