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Centene to expand exchange footprint by offering plans in three additional states

The insurer is entering the market in Nevada, Missouri and Kansas and is growing its presence in six other states.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

While other insurers are fleeing the Affordable Care Act marketplace, Centene Corporation is expanding its footprint.

This week the insurer announced it would enter the exchange market in Nevada, Missouri and Kansas in 2018 and growing its presence in six other states including Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Texas, and Washington.

Centene has shown financial success on the exchanges.

[Also: Centene commits to ACA exchanges for 2018, basks in 69% revenue growth]

Between Dec. 31, 2016 and March 31, Centene's membership grew from 537,200 exchange members to 1.2 million. Ninety percent are eligible for subsidies.

"Centene recognizes there is uncertainty of new healthcare legislation, but we are well positioned to continue providing accessible, high quality and culturally-sensitive healthcare services to our members," said CEO and President Michael F. Neidorff. "Centene has demonstrated disciplined execution, agility and capacity to successfully navigate industry changes to the benefit of our members, customers and shareholders."

Other major insurers have left numerous markets, citing financial losses and the uncertainty of the marketplace under a new Republican administration. President Trump has yet to promise continued cost-sharing reduction payments that allow insurers to keep deductibles lower for lower-income consumers. Without CSRs, insurers have said premiums would need to increase substantially for 2018 for them to remain in the ACA market.

[Also: Lack of CSRs one reason Anthem BCBS to leave ACA market in Ohio]

Centene said it is committed to working closely with regulators and policymakers to collaborate on actions to stabilize the market and offer affordable and high quality coverage options.

"We have started the process for seeking all necessary regulatory approvals in targeted states for 2018," Centene said by statement.

[Also: Centene profit bolstered by Health Net acquisition]

Centene in St. Louis, Missouri, is a Fortune 500 company that specializes in government benefits including Medicaid, Medicare and Medicare prescription drug benefits,CHIP, foster care and long-term care as well as programs with the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse