Centene was founded in 1984 as a nonprofit Medicaid plan by a former hospital bookkeeper, Elizabeth “Betty” Brinn. The business, operated in the basement of Family Hospital in Milwaukee, built its guiding principles on Brinn’s experiences growing up in a Milwaukee County orphanage.
With more than three decades of experience operating government-sponsored programs, Centene remains as dedicated as ever to the health and unique needs of the communities it serves. In addition to being the largest Medicaid Managed Care Organization in the country, we are proud to be the largest carrier on the Health Insurance Marketplace and a national leader in managed long-term services and support. Our work with the healthcare programs of the Department of Defense has positioned Centene as one of the nation's largest providers of managed care services for military families and veterans. Through all of our efforts, we hold firm to our belief that every individual deserves access to high-quality healthcare with dignity.
1984: Founded as Family Hospital Physician Associates, the company is established by hospital bookkeeper Elizabeth “Betty” Brinn in Wisconsin.
1995–1996: Healthcare executive Michael Neidorff is named President and Chief Executive Officer and expands the company into Indiana.
1997: The company is renamed Centene Corporation, and its corporate office is established in St. Louis, Missouri. NurseWise, a nurse triage company and Centene's first subsidiary, is established.
2001: With three health plans, $327 million in revenue and 235,000 members, Centene becomes a publicly traded company.
2003: Adds Cenpatico, a behavioral health services company; Centene debuts on the New York Stock Exchange.
2004: Centene reports $1 billion in revenue; expands in Ohio as Buckeye Health Plan.
2006: Acquires additional nurse triage services; Opticare, a vision management services company; US Script, a pharmacy benefit management services company; and Cardium, a disease management services company. These companies currently operate as Envolve. Establishes health plans in Georgia and Arizona.
2007: Absolute Total Care in South Carolina becomes Centene’s eighth managed care company.
2008: Acquires Celtic Group, Inc., a commercial insurance product company.
2009: Expands into Florida and Massachusetts.
2010: Joins the FORTUNE 500 list of largest U.S. corporations by revenue; adds NovaSys Health in Arkansas.
2011: Adds Illinois and Mississippi health plans. Forms a correctional healthcare services company, Centurion, a joint venture with MHM Services, Inc.
2012: Operations for correctional healthcare services begin. Company expands health plans in Louisiana, Washington and Missouri.
2013: Grows to $10 billion in revenue and 2.7 million members. Acquires AcariaHealth, a specialty pharmacy benefit management services company. Adds Kansas, New Hampshire and California health plans.
2014: Ambetter brand introduced for Health Insurance Marketplace products; enters two international markets, Spain and the United Kingdom; adds U.S. Medical Management (USMM), an in-home health services company.
2015: Acquires health plans in Michigan and Oregon.
2016: Acquires Health Net and launches the Envolve brand for specialty whole-health solution companies.
2017: Expands operational footprint in Nebraska, Nevada, Maryland and New York. Listed No. 66 on the FORTUNE 500 list and No. 244 on the FORTUNE Global 500 list, Centene becomes the largest Medicaid managed care company in the U.S., as well as the No. 1 insurer in the nation on the Health Insurance Marketplace.
2018: Adds Pennsylvania and New York health plans; launches the Allwell Medicare Advantage brand.
2019: Continued growth and innovation leads to being listed No. 51 on the FORTUNE 500 list., No. 168 on the FORTUNE Global 500 list, and No. 7 on the FORTUNE Change the World list.
2020: Combines with WellCare to create a premier healthcare enterprise serving more than 23 million members across all 50 states in the U.S.
As we’ve grown, Centene has never lost its focus on the individual. We have built a portfolio of health solutions that allow us to provide effective and accessible healthcare for the people we serve. Our Envolve family of specialty companies helps deliver a full spectrum of care, from physical health to emotional wellness. Meanwhile, cutting-edge research and insights from the Centene Center for Health Transformation™ – a unique partnership between Centene, the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, and the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University – is showing us new ways to influence health behaviors in the millions of individuals we serve.
Honoring Michael F. Neidorff: A Business and Community Leader
Michael F. Neidorff served as Centene’s President and CEO for nearly 25 years, helping build our company into a national healthcare leader. Hear from colleagues, friends and Centene health plan members who share their memories of Michael and detail his impact on our communities.