Health insurer Centene said the addition of WellCare Health Plans means the company now serves “1 in every 15 Americans” as a national provider of government-sponsored healthcare including Obamacare.
Centene added 1.1 million health plan members last year, growing by 8% and helping revenue jump 14% to $18.9 billion at the end of the fourth quarter from $16.6 billion in fourth quarter of 2018. Fourth quarter net income was $209 million.
“We’re now a $100 billion-plus enterprise,” Centene chief executive Michael Neidorff said Tuesday morning during an 80-minute conference call to discuss fourth quarter 2019 earnings. Centene completed its acquisition of WellCare less than a month ago and the deal cleared regulatory hurdles and closed ahead of schedule.
Centene bought WellCare for more than $15 billion in a deal that expands the business of administering Medicaid benefits for poor Americans as well as private Medicare Advantage coverage. In the fourth quarter, revenues from the Medicaid business – Centene’s largest operation – rose 12% to $12.8 billion.
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Centene, which is the largest provider of individual coverage known as Obamacare with members who buy such coverage in 20 states on government exchanges, expanded in 10 of these states for 2020 and that has paid off, Neidorff said.
Centene said the company now has 2.2 million enrollees in its individual plans known as Obamacare that are sold on exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. That’s an increase of more than 200,000 new members and cements Centene is the nation’s largest provider of Obamacare.