Centene, WellCare pass major regulatory hurdle for merger

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Centene Corp. and WellCare Health Plans received approval from 17 states to combine operations, the health insurers said Sept. 19.

In March, Centene and WellCare said they would merge in a $17.3 billion deal. While Centene CEO Michael Neidorff signaled in July the deal could close early, the companies still anticipate the transaction will reach completion by the first half of 2020.

The approval came from the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Washington.

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