Centene thrives as other insurers struggle

Amid an industry of crumbling health insurance giants, low enrollment and high patient costs, Clayton-based Centene is thriving.

While some of the nation’s health insurance giants are complaining that they are losing money on the health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act, Centene has found a growing, lucrative niche in the federal and state-run marketplaces.

Instead of offering a broad range of plans, the company is narrowly focusing on low-income individuals who have lost their Medicaid eligibility and need to find a private health insurance plan. In 2015, the company nearly doubled enrollment, with a total of 146,100 individuals in 12 states.

But the marketplace does come with risks. In a recent regulatory report, Centene officials cautioned on pricing risks. Price too high and enrollment growth could slow. Price too low and Centene could end up with individuals who are sicker and more costly than expectations.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch


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