Centene (CNC) to Provide Better Health Equity in North Carolina

Centene Corporation’s CNC Medicaid brand and a wholly owned subsidiary, WellCare for North Carolina, recently announced its partnership with Reinvestment Partners. Under this partnership, WellCare members will get enrolled in the Eat Well Program and gain access to a prepaid credit card worth $80 a month.

This move bodes well for Centene as eligible WellCare Medicaid members will be able to use the card to buy healthy fruits and vegetables. This way, the company can reduce its claim costs as healthy insured people are more likely to reduce the impact of chronic diseases. WellCare plans to enroll 1,600 plus North Carolinians in this program, suffering from chronic and complex health conditions.

Per Eat Well, the purchase of fruits and vegetables worth $700,000 will be availed from this partnership. With this collaboration, Centene will deliver on its mission of enhancing the health of North Carolinians. Centene believes disease prevention can be addressed through a proper diet and healthy lifestyle habits, improving people’s health.

Centene has a strong pipeline to enhance its offerings scheduled for 2024. The company will introduce the Wellcare Spendables debit card and offer new Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans and 23 newly designed plans. The new Wellcare Spendables card will provide healthy groceries from retailers nationwide, rent/utility, cost assistance for vision, hearing and dental, and over-the-counter products. Additionally, the inclusion of telehealth in all plans will benefit members at no extra cost.

Shares of Centene have rallied 17.5% in the past six months compared with the industry’s 2.7% growth. CNC currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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Other Stocks to Consider

Some other top-ranked stocks from the Medical space are Amedisys, Inc. AMED, The Cigna Group CI and Encompass Health Corporation EHC. Each stock presently carries a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Amedisys earnings outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters, and missed on one occasion, the average surprise being 11.9%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for AMED’s 2024 earnings and revenues suggests an improvement of 2.2% and 3.8% from the respective 2023 estimate.

Cigna’s earnings outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 2.9%. The consensus estimate for CI’s 2024 earnings and revenues suggests an improvement of 12.9% and 20.4% from the respective 2023 estimate. The consensus estimate for CI’s 2024 earnings has moved 0.2% north in the past 30 days.

Encompass Health’s earnings outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 20.1%. The consensus estimate for EHC’s 2024 earnings and revenues suggests an improvement of 8% and 9.5% from the respective 2023 estimate. The consensus estimate for EHC’s 2024 earnings has moved 2.9% north in the past seven days.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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