California Regulator Approves Centene-Health Net Deal

California health plan regulators are approving Centene’s bid to purchase fellow insurer Health Net.

The Department of Managed Health Care and the California Department of Insurance announced their decisions on Tuesday.

The regulators are requiring St. Louis-based Centene to keep Health Net’s headquarters in California. The combined company is also must build a California call center, improve the health care system and provide assistance in underserved communities.

Centene Corporation says in a statement that it expects to close the $6.3 billion deal shortly.

Centene is looking to expand in two markets — the Medicaid program for the poor and people with disabilities, and the federally supported Medicare Advantage program.

The insurance industry as seen a wave of mergers and acquisitions as insurers scramble to adapt to the federal health overhaul.

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