Centene Corporation Announces Investment in Florida Medicaid Managed Care Company

July 20, 2007 at 1:54 PM EDT

Investment Provides Entry into Eighth Centene Medicaid Market

ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 20, 2007--Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) today announced that it has acquired a minority ownership interest in Access Health Solutions, LLC (Access) based in Sunrise, Florida. Under the terms of the transaction, Centene has an option to acquire the remaining interest in Access at a future date. Centene believes this transaction will lay the foundation for the partnership to deliver high quality healthcare to members while providing an integrated managed care solution tailored to the diverse needs of Medicaid recipients throughout Florida.

Access, currently the third largest Medicaid managed care entity in Florida serving approximately 90,000 members, provides its services under two separate contracts with the State, one as a Minority Physician Network and the other as a Provider Service Network. Under these contracts, the company does not accept full risk for healthcare expenses. Centene has formed Sunshine State Health Plan (Sunshine Health), a wholly-owned subsidiary, and has started the process to have Sunshine Health licensed as a full-risk Medicaid managed care company. Upon receipt of the required licensure, Sunshine Health and Access will collaborate with the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) and the Access providers to transition the Access members to Sunshine Health. Access possesses a management team of nationally recognized physicians and community leaders with excellent track records in managed care and successful experience in the Florida Medicaid market.

Michael F. Neidorff, Centene's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Access is an established leader in the Florida Medicaid market and we are very fortunate to be working with well respected providers and community leaders such as Dr. Nelson Adams and to align ourselves with an organization that shares our vision for quality healthcare. We are privileged to have Dr. Adams and his team join us to manage our Florida operations. Sunshine Health is committed to build upon the local approach for every market to ensure our healthcare delivery model is carried out by the stakeholders of the communities we serve."

Dr. Nelson L. Adams, Chairman of Access, stated, "We believe that the partnership with Centene will provide Access Health Solutions with the additional resources and expertise necessary to prepare our company for future growth. Centene possesses similar values and objectives as Access Health Solutions including increasing access to quality healthcare, achieving improved health outcomes for beneficiaries, and supporting local communities."

Regarding the partnership with Access, Christopher D. Bowers, Centene's Acting Head, Health Plan Business Unit, stated, "We are very excited about this partnership and what we ultimately view as an opportunity to bring our inclusive Medicaid managed care solution to Florida. We look forward to working with AHCA and the State of Florida to expand their consumer-oriented Medicaid Reform program and demonstrating our commitment to improve health and quality of life for Medicaid recipients in Florida."

Including the start-up costs associated with Sunshine Health, Centene expects this transaction to be neutral to earnings in 2007.

About Centene Corporation

Centene Corporation is a leading multi-line healthcare enterprise that provides programs and related services to individuals receiving benefits under Medicaid, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The Company operates health plans in Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. In addition, the Company contracts with other healthcare and commercial organizations to provide specialty services including behavioral health, health management, long-term care, managed vision, nurse triage, pharmacy benefit management and treatment compliance. Information regarding Centene is available via the Internet at www.centene.com.

CONTACT: Centene Corporation
Edmund E. Kroll
Senior Vice President, Finance & Investor Relations
212-759-0382
or
Robert J. Schenk
Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Communications
314-725-4477

SOURCE: Centene Corporation