Sept. 15--Centene Corp. said Wednesday that it is seeking regulatory approval to sell individual health insurance plans for 2017 on the exchange in two Arizona counties.
Centene said it had filed applications with the Arizona Department of Insurance and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to sell plans in Pima and Maricopa counties for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2017.
Some major health insurance carriers have decided to stop selling plans on the health insurance marketplaces, also known as the exchanges, a key part of President Barack Obama's landmark health reform bill. Many said they were losing too much money on the exchange business that attracted an older and sicker population.
The exit of those insurers, including Aetna, meant that some counties in the country were left with few options.
"We are pleased to work with state and federal regulators to help maintain quality coverage for over 120,000 residents in Maricopa County," Michael Neidorff, chairman, CEO of Centene, said in a statement.
A Centene subsidiary, Health Net Inc., previously offered exchange plans in Arizona but decided this summer to drop its exchange coverage options altogether in Arizona for 2017. Wednesday's announcement does not change Health Net's previously announced exit from Arizona, Centene said.
The company expects the new Arizona offerings to add more than $500 million in incremental revenue and have a positive impact on 2017 earnings.
Centene has a large presence in Arizona through its contracts with the state to provide health coverage to certain individuals, including those with Medicaid. At the end of 2015, Centene provided coverage to 440,900 individuals through its state contracts, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Samantha Liss --314-340-8017
@samanthann on Twitter
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