Where Centene's CEO sees an opportunity for disruption

Centene CEO Sarah London said over the long term, the individual marketplace is going to be the dominant way that consumers shop for health insurance. 

Speaking Sept. 13 at the Bank of America Securities Global Healthcare Conference, Ms. London said that with the extension of government sponsored subsidies, Centene saw huge growth in marketplace coverage over the last enrollment cycle. 

"Smaller businesses that don't or can't afford to scalably provide insurance for their employees are encouraging them to move over and purchase individually on the exchanges," she said. "Many of them are actually eligible for subsidies, so it's more affordable for both parties to consume in that way." 

She said Centene is also seeing the emergence of gig workers and the general dynamics of how younger workers are purchasing health insurance. They're interested in choice and flexibility. 

"And so over time, we see that trend starting to actually grow the marketplace segment, disrupt small group, and then over the long term, we think that individual marketplace is going to be sort of a dominant way that consumers shop for health insurance," Ms. London said

She said she believes Centene has a "really powerful platform from which to disrupt the rest of the market."

"If you can develop successful, scalable solutions in the most underserved communities, that have the most complex health issues and have the least access overall to resources, those scale up really nicely into segments of the population where the economics are better and the overall landscape is less complex," she said. "So that's what we believe positions us not only to win in the government sponsored space, but over the long term, actually disrupt the rest of the market."

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