What You Need to Know
- Neidorff was the son of a dermatologist in Altoona, Pennsylvania.
- He started out in St. Louis as an executive at Miles Laboratories.
- He expanded Centene rapidly by making it a major player in the managed Medicaid plan market.
Michael Neidorff, 79, the chairman of Centene Corp., died Thursday from a long illness, the company said.
Neidorff started at the company that became Centene in 1996. He built what was a small, regional health insurer into the 57th-biggest company in the world, with 76,000 employees and $126 billion in 2021 revenue.
Neidorff accelerated the Clayton, Missouri-based insurer’s growth by steering it into the managed Medicaid market, and then by acquiring Health Net, WellCare and Magellan Health.
Centene is emphasizing Neidorff’s efforts to make the company a force for good.
“Michael made diversity and inclusion a central focus of his leadership, building an international corporation where women, people of color, LGBTQ, veterans, and people with disabilities all have opportunities to lead and excel,” the company said in an announcement of Neidorff’s death.
After Black residents of Ferguson, Missouri, clashed with police in 2014, Neidorff helped organization a $30 million support program for that community.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Neidorff was a forceful advocates for vaccination programs and other pandemic control efforts.
The Son of a Physician
Neidorff was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania, in 1942, and grew up there. His father, Dr. A. Harvey Neidorff, was a dermatologist who served as the president of the local ragweed commission.