Centene Corporation

The antitrust questions behind the Centene-WellCare deal

Centene logo on the screen of a smartphone.
Centene has been on a buying spree. Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Centene's pending acquisition of WellCare Health Plans, a deal valued at $17.3 billion including debt, would create a health insurance behemoth with almost $100 billion of revenue — nearly all of which comes from taxpayer-subsidized health care programs.

The big picture: The industry has never been more consolidated. And this deal, being reviewed by states and the Department of Justice, raises specific antitrust concerns in Medicaid, the main line of business for both companies.

First look at 2018 pay for health CEOs

In this illustration, an office chair sits overstuffed with money.
Illustration: Aïda Amer

Newly filed proxy documents for large health care corporations provide a glimpse into how much top executives made in 2018.

Between the lines: CEO pay in this analysis is based on actual realized gains of stock. I compared those numbers, as well as the average median employee compensation, to 2017's results.