Nebraska Medicaid Director Dr. Matthew Van Patton Comments on Centene Announcement

News Release
For Immediate Release: 3/28/2019

Julie Naughton, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-1695 (office); (402) 405-7202 (cell);


Lincoln – Dr. Matthew Van Patton, director of the Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care at the Nebraska Division of Health and Human Services, issued a statement following Wednesday's announcement from Centene Corporation. Centene announced its intention to acquire WellCare Health Plans Inc in a cash and stock transaction expected to be completed in the first half of 2020.

Both Centene and WellCare, along with United Healthcare Community Plan of Nebraska, are currently payors for Heritage Health, Nebraska's Medicaid managed care program.

“We are aware of the proposed merger and will watch closely as it progresses," said Dr. Van Patton. “We are committed to the tenets of Heritage Health, which include giving consumers a diverse choice of coverage options in Nebraska. We currently have binding contracts with all Heritage Health managed care organizations through Dec. 31, 2021, and we expect those contracts will be honored through their prescribed terms."

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