- Today, Centene and Health Net announced they received approval for their planned merger, valued at $6.8 billion, from the California Department of Insurance.
- On Tuesday, the California Department of Managed Health Care gave approval of Centene's planned merger with Health Net, one of California's largest health insurers.
- While Centene and Health Net expect to close the transaction shortly after receipt of approval from the California Department of Insurance, California Healthline's David Gorn has noted California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones was casting a skeptical eye on the ever-blossoming merger madness.
The deal is intended to boost Centene's Medicaid business in the lucrative California market. The company anticipates that the acquisition will make it the largest Medicaid insurer in the country, with roughly 6 million members.
Centene shareholders approved the merger in October of last year.
"This merger and the current condition of the companies involved, however, present circumstances which led me to conclude that, with strong and comprehensive conditions, this particular merger was in the best interest of Californians," California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said..
The approval came with some conditions, including that Health Net's headquarters remain in California and the plans agree to contribute $65 million to improve enrollee health outcomes, support locally-based consumer assistance programs and strengthen the healthcare delivery system. Among the imposed conditions, Centene will invest $75 million in California's healthcare infrastructure for underserved groups and invest $200 million in support of creating new jobs.