Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Document And Entity Information

v3.6.0.2
Document And Entity Information - USD ($)
$ in Billions
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2016
Feb. 17, 2017
Jun. 30, 2016
Document and Entity Information [Abstract]      
Entity Registrant Name CENTENE CORP    
Entity Central Index Key 0001071739    
Current Fiscal Year End Date --12-31    
Entity Filer Category Large Accelerated Filer    
Document Type 10-K    
Document Period End Date Dec. 31, 2016    
Document Fiscal Year Focus 2016    
Document Fiscal Period Focus FY    
Amendment Flag false    
Public Float     $ 12.2
Entity Well-known Seasoned Issuer Yes    
Entity Voluntary Filers No    
Entity Current Reporting Status Yes    
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding   172,028,161