Centene to extend health plans in Arizona's largest counties

Health insurer Centene filed requests with the Arizona Department of Insurance and CMS to offer health plans on Arizona's Affordable Care Act exchange in the state's most populous counties.

The coverage, called Ambetter, will be available to residents of Maricopa and Pima Counties. The St. Louis-based insurer said the plans will be health maintenance organization 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, Centene chairman, president and CEO, said.  

Centene predicts Ambetter plans will generate over $500 million in revenue and positively affect 2017 earnings. 

Despite the extension, Centene will still withdraw its Health Net preferred provider organization plans in Arizona effective Jan. 1. In addition, Phoenix-based Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona will pull out of Maricopa and Pinal Counties next year, ending coverage for 44,000 policyholders who purchase health plans through the state's ACA marketplace.  

More articles about payer issues:
Progressives launch campaign to support public health insurance option
Southwest General, Anthem BCBS ink bundled payment contract
BCBS of Vermont seeks $6.2M from state in unpaid premiums

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