Centene to Add Obamacare Plans in 400 New Counties, Citing Covid

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Centene Corp., the largest Obamacare plan provider in the U.S., will expand into nearly 400 additional counties in 2021, the company announced Friday.

Centene said it plans to expand its Ambetter-branded plan offerings in 13 states and enter two new states—Michigan and New Mexico. The St. Louis-based company has about 2.2 million Obamacare members, and it will be in 22 states in 2021 if it receives regulatory approvals.

Centene’s announcement shows that President Barack Obama’s signature health-care law is fostering an insurance market that continues to be profitable and is now capturing enrollees who have lost employer-sponsored health coverage in the pandemic-related recession.

The company rapidly emerged as the top health insurer in the exchanges because it adapted its model for Medicaid managed care plans into low-cost Obamacare plans.

“At a time when many Americans are grappling with the health and economic effects of COVID-19, it is crucial that we leverage our scale, capabilities, and expertise to provide accessible, high-quality healthcare services to our members,” Centene Chairman, President, and CEO Michael Neidorff said in a statement.

“We are committed to expanding our Ambetter product, offering affordable options for care during this pandemic and beyond,” he said.

People with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level qualify for subsidies on the Affordable Care Act exchanges, helping making the plans more affordable.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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