Centene, the nation’s largest Medicaid managed care operator, has agreed to pay a $215 million settlement to the state of California to resolve allegations that it overcharged the state Medicaid program for prescription medications.
Centene’s two California health plans allegedly reported higher prescription drug costs than they actually incurred between 2017 and 2018 and did not pass on discounts to California’s Medicaid program.
“When companies overcharge the Medi-Cal system, it drains valuable resources from the people who rely on this care,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a Wednesday statement.
This is just one settlement in a string of deals Centene has reached with multiple states to settle overcharging allegations.
So far, this is the largest settlement Centene has agreed to among those that have been made public.
Centene has agreed to pay $805.6 million in settlements so far.
Centene has reached agreements in Ohio, Illinois and Texas, among others. The St. Louis-based insurer previously disclosed it had set aside a total of $1.25 billion in a reserve to pay similar settlements.
California is home to the largest Medicaid population in the country, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, with nearly 14 million people enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
More than 80% of those members receive care from a managed care plan like Centene that contracts with the state to provide Medicaid coverage, Bonta’s office said.