Centene to Shed 4,500 Positions After Fourth-Quarter Loss

Centene Corp. said it would eliminate 4,500 jobs, including 3,000 current employees and another 1,500 open positions, as it focuses on “innovation, growth and agility” after posting a $12 million fourth-quarter loss. However, its overall fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 financial results largely met analysts’ expectations, and company executives pledged strong growth in both their Medicaid and Medicare business lines in 2021.

The insurer’s medical loss ratio (MLR) for the fourth quarter came in worse than expected at 88.4% versus the 88% that analysts had anticipated, driven by higher costs for care of members with COVID-19, particularly within the individual health insurance exchanges. However, “the higher cost is not necessarily surprising given the COVID spike at year-end and commentary from peers,” wrote Citi analyst Ralph Giacobbe in a Feb. 9 investor note.

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