Centene's Celtic Unit Awarded Contract in Massachusetts to Serve Uninsured Individuals

March 12, 2009 at 12:44 PM EDT

ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar. 12, 2009-- Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) today announced its wholly-owned subsidiary, Celtic Group Inc. (Celtic), through a joint venture with Caritas Christi Health Care (Caritas), was awarded a contract to manage healthcare services for Commonwealth Care members in Massachusetts. Effective July 1, 2009, the two entities will serve the Central, Northern, Boston and Southern regions operating as Commonwealth Family Health Plan.

The Massachusetts Commonwealth Care program is a health insurance program for low-income, working adults (up to 300% of the Federal Poverty Level) who are not eligible for Medicaid or employer-sponsored insurance. There are approximately 165,000 Commonwealth Care members.

Michael F. Neidorff, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Centene, stated, "We are pleased to help provide comprehensive healthcare services to individuals who lack access to traditional public or private health insurance coverage. This new, innovative managed care solution validates the strategic rationale for our Celtic acquisition and leverages local provider relationships, national managed care experience and Celtic’s invaluable experience with the individual health insurance market.”

Frederick J. Manning, Executive Vice President for Centene and Chief Executive Officer for Celtic, stated, "We are committed to provide a managed care solution for the underserved communities in Massachusetts. By promoting the medical home and preventive care, our new health plan will successfully deliver better health outcomes for the citizens of Massachusetts. Consistent with our philosophy that quality healthcare is best delivered locally, our health plan will hire local staff to meet the needs of the members and communities we will serve.”

The health plan implementation process is underway. We anticipate a build of the membership to start in July, and by fourth quarter 2010, we expect annual run rate revenue of $100 to $125 million. We intend to consolidate the financial operations of the joint venture. Additional detail on the start-up cost, timing and impact to 2009 earnings will be addressed on Centene’s first quarter earnings call.

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 the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as well as Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD), Foster Care, Long-Term Care and Medicare (Special Needs Plans). The Company operates local health plans and offers a wide range of health insurance solutions to individuals and the rising number of uninsured Americans. It also contracts with other healthcare and commercial organizations to provide specialty services including behavioral health, life and health management, managed vision, telehealth services, pharmacy benefits management and medication adherence. Information regarding Centene is available via the Internet at www.centene.com.

Source: Centene Corporation

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