Centene Corporation Subsidiary Awarded Medicaid Contracts in Georgia; Peach State Health Plan to Serve Atlanta and Central Regions, Georgia's Two Largest Regions

July 19, 2005 at 11:32 AM EDT

ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 19, 2005--Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) today announced that it has been awarded Medicaid contracts in the Atlanta and Central Regions by the Georgia Department of Community Health. Atlanta and Central represent two of the largest regions awarded with approximately 500,000 and 150,000 eligibles, respectively. Centene's Georgia subsidiary, Peach State Health Plan (PSHP), will manage a portion of the Medicaid recipients in these regions. The contract is subject to regulatory approval.

Under the terms of the contracts, PSHP will provide healthcare benefits and services to Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids recipients in the Atlanta Region and Central Region, which includes the cities of Macon, Columbus, LaGrange and Warner Robins. PSHP's contracts become effective immediately with membership operations commencing January 1, 2006. The initial contracts run through June 30, 2006, and are then subject to six, one-year renewal options.

The state plans to move 1.1 million Medicaid members into managed care throughout 2006. The Medicaid program has been divided into six service regions, including Atlanta and five outlying areas.

Michael F. Neidorff, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Centene, stated, "We are pleased to have been selected by the state of Georgia to serve Medicaid recipients in two of the largest urban regions, representing 650,000 lives, in 2006. This represents a significant opportunity to expand membership and positions us for strong organic growth in 2006. As a leader in the Medicaid managed care industry, we are committed to solving the challenge of escalating healthcare costs and providing more access to care. Centene, through its decentralized local company Peach State Health Plan, is committed to developing and managing a local system of care that is accountable, produces demonstrated cost savings and provides more access for its Georgia members."

Daniel R. Paquin, Chief Executive Officer and Acting Chairman of PSHP, added, "We are pleased to have been selected to serve Georgia's Medicaid recipients and look forward to a smooth and effective implementation. We have been focused on Georgia for some time and are prepared with key personnel and a solid infrastructure including our main office in Smyrna. Furthermore, we expect to establish satellite offices in the Central Region."

The corporate office will be located at:

Peach State Health Plan
3200 Highland Parkway SE
Suite 300
Smyrna, GA  30082

Key PSHP personnel include:

Daniel R. Paquin -- Chief Executive Officer and Acting Chairman of the Board

    --  Mr. Paquin has served in increasingly senior positions at
        several healthcare companies providing services to Medicaid
        and Medicare members. Since 2002, Mr. Paquin has been the
        Senior Vice President, Health Plans/Development for Centene
        and was instrumental in laying the groundwork in Georgia for
        PSHP. Mr. Paquin retains a position of Senior Vice President
        of Centene Corporation; he will serve as Chairman until a
        local community leader is elected to the position.

Brenda A. Williams -- Vice President, Regulatory Affairs & Compliance

    --  Ms. Williams has extensive experience in the healthcare
        industry as an expert in alternative provider systems with
        specific emphasis on planning and directing Medicaid/Medicare
        and commercial managed care plans. Ms. Williams previously
        provided consulting services to Centene and was formerly a
        Vice President for Providers Direct Health Plan of Georgia.
        Ms. Williams has also held other executive level positions
        within metro-Atlanta focusing on statewide programs and
        issues.

Michael W. Brooks, M.D. -- Interim Medical Director and Member of the Board

    --  Dr. Brooks has an extensive background in the medical field
        including clinical and managerial positions. Since 1996, Dr.
        Brooks has held the position of Senior Vice President and
        Chief Operating Officer for West End Medical Centers in
        Atlanta. Dr. Brooks is board certified in Internal Medicine
        and also received a Master of Business Administration from
        Emory University.

    J. Scott Garrett -- Director, Contracting and Network Development

    --  Mr. Garrett has over 15 years of experience in managed
        healthcare and specializes in creating high quality provider
        networks. Mr. Garrett was formerly an Executive Vice President
        for Providers Direct Health Plan of Georgia.

    Alonzo Chad Pendleton, Jr. -- Director, Provider Relations

    --  Mr. Pendleton has a Master's Degree in Health Administration
        and nearly 10 years of experience in provider relations and
        network development. Prior to joining PSHP, Mr. Pendleton was
        the Director of Provider Services at United American
        Healthcare Corporation in Tennessee.

    Local representatives on the PSHP Board of Directors include:

    Michael W. Brooks, M.D. -- Director

    Gwelda Swilley-Burke -- Secretary

    --  Ms. Swilley-Burke is Managing Consultant for Gray & Company in
        Atlanta. Ms. Swilley-Burke has over 20 years of financial
        management experience and currently manages all of the
        institutional investment consulting for Gray & Company. Ms.
        Swilley-Burke is also an active member of the National
        Association of Securities Professionals.

    David M. Williams, M.D. -- Director

    --  Dr. Williams is currently the Chief Executive Officer for
        Southside Medical Center, Inc. in Atlanta and is a board
        certified family practice physician. Dr. Williams has a
        20-year track record of developing and delivering quality
        healthcare programs for the Atlanta metropolitan area.

    About Centene Corporation

Centene Corporation provides multi-line managed care 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 Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. In addition, the Company contracts with other healthcare organizations to provide specialty services including behavioral health, nurse triage and treatment compliance. Information regarding Centene is available via the Internet at www.centene.com and www.pshpgeorgia.com.


    CONTACT: Centene Corporation
             Lisa M. Wilson, 212-759-3929
             or
             Robert J. Schenk, 314-725-4477

    SOURCE: Centene Corporation