Centene Corporation announced Friday its 2019 revenues are expected to grow to between $69.7 billion and $70.5 billion, which is a 17% gain compared to the midpoint of the 2018 range.
The St. Louis-based payer also predicted a health benefits ratio of between 86.6% and 87.1%.
The insurer additionally affirmed its 2018 revenue guidance for total revenues of between $59.8 billion and $60.3 billion. Centene will announce its full-year 2018 earnings Feb. 5.
Centene's positive outlook is an example of how things are going for payers, especially those focused on Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and even Affordable Care Act plans.
Centene, which specializes in Medicaid managed care, is planning to further expand its ACA plan offerings next year.
In its Q3 earnings report, Centene reported revenue increased by 36% to $16.2 billion, which was influenced by the company's purchase of New-York based Fidelis Care in July. That purchase gave Centene the second-largest managed care market by membership in the state, including plans in the ACA market, Medicaid and Medicare.
Centene now covers 14.4 million members after enjoying a 17% increase over the past year. That includes more than 8.6 million in Medicaid, including 1.2 million members through Medicaid expansion, and 1.5 million in the ACA exchanges.
Those numbers are expected to grow in 2019 as Centene and other payers look to expand into other states.
Centene also covers about 417,000 Medicare beneficiaries, including MA and supplemental plans. That number pales in comparison to its other offerings, but much like other payers, Centene plans to grow its MA business. The insurer expects the public plans will help fund growth over the next decade.
New Medicaid expansion states next year are also expected to help increase Centene's membership. A recent Height Capital Markets report said Medicaid expansion will help payers like Centene, Aetna and Anthem next year.
Overall, Medicaid managed care membership has grown over the past few years despite the number of total Medicaid members dropping across the country.