Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Quarterly Selected Financial Information (Details)

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Quarterly Selected Financial Information (Details) - USD ($)
$ / shares in Units, $ in Millions
3 Months Ended 12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2019
Sep. 30, 2019
Jun. 30, 2019
Mar. 31, 2019
Dec. 31, 2018
Sep. 30, 2018
Jun. 30, 2018
Mar. 31, 2018
Dec. 31, 2019
Dec. 31, 2018
Dec. 31, 2017
Quarterly Financial Information Disclosure [Abstract]                      
Total revenues $ 18,863 $ 18,976 $ 18,356 $ 18,444 $ 16,559 $ 16,182 $ 14,181 $ 13,194 $ 74,639 $ 60,116 $ 48,382
Net earnings $ 209 $ 95 $ 495 $ 522 $ 241 $ 19 $ 300 $ 340 $ 1,321 $ 900 $ 828
Net earnings per common share attributable to Centene Corporation:                      
Basic earnings per common share (in usd per share) $ 0.50 $ 0.23 $ 1.20 $ 1.26 $ 0.59 $ 0.05 $ 0.77 $ 0.98 $ 3.19 $ 2.31 $ 2.40
Diluted earnings per common share (in usd per share) $ 0.49 $ 0.23 $ 1.18 $ 1.24 $ 0.57 $ 0.05 $ 0.75 $ 0.96 $ 3.14 $ 2.26 $ 2.34