Centene Profits Hit $849 Million On Medicaid, Medicare And Obamacare Growth

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Centene reported nearly $850 million in first quarter profit as membership grew by 1.9 million thanks to an increase in enrollment in Medicaid, Medicare and Obamacare plans, the company said Tuesday.

Centene, which sells an array of government subsidized health insurance including Obamacare, said total managed care membership increased by 1.9 million members, or 8%, to 26.2 million, compared to the end of the first quarter of 2021.

Such growth helped Centene’s revenues jump 24% to $37.2 billion. Net income was $849 million in the first quarter compared to a $699 million in the first quarter of 2021.

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“Our strong first quarter performance demonstrates Centene’s ability to deliver on our financial goals while continuing to make progress against our value creation initiatives,” said Sarah London, Centene’s chief executive officer, who earlier this year succeeded the late Michael Neidorff. The longtime Centene CEO, Neidorff had announced his retirement before he passed away earlier this month.

Under the early days of London’s leadership, Centene’s growth story continues with the company’s strong first quarter performance contributing to management’s decision to raise its financial outlook for the rest of 2021. The health insurance giant now expects adjusted earnings per share in the rage of $5.40 and $5.55 compared to an earlier projection of between $5.30 and $5.50 per share.

Medicaid membership ended the first quarter at nearly 15.3 million compared to nearly 13.8 million in the year ago period while Medicare enrollment jumped to 1.45 million compared to 1.13 million in the year ago period.

Centene also saw an increase of more than 100,000 new health plan members who enrolled in “commercial marketplace” coverage under the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare. Centene is the largest provider of Obamacare in the U.S. with more than 2 million enrollees as of the end of the first quarter compared to 1.9 million in the year-ago period.

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