September 12, 2017
Dear Members of the Catholic family in New York:
For the past 20 years, Fidelis Care has been a managed care insurance program dedicated to serving previously uninsured and underserved men, women, and children of New York State. Begun in 1993, Fidelis Care, governed by a board, together with the bishops of each diocese in the State of New York serving as members, expanded throughout New York State in 1997; it is now the largest managed care provider in the State.
In recent years, Fidelis Care has recognized that providing health insurance is rapidly changing and increasingly complex in this uncertain regulatory environment. Therefore, it was announced today that Centene, a national leader in providing managed care, is acquiring Fidelis Care. Centene is the largest operator of state-sponsored healthcare in the country, and is well-positioned to continue the successful management and operation of Fidelis Care in providing quality care to poor and low-income New Yorkers. The company currently has more than 12 million members spanning 28 states. Centene’s scale, expertise, and resources – including its advanced data, analytics, and state-of-the-art technology – will help Fidelis Care improve members’ health, enhance the overall member and provider experience, support affordability and access to care, and expand Fidelis’ grassroots, community-based approach, while continuing to serve all those covered by Fidelis.
There is more good news. Not only will this transaction enable those served by Fidelis to continue to receive high-quality health care, but its proceeds – estimated to be $3.5 billion! – will be used to establish a new foundation that will continue Fidelis’ founding mission of providing for the health and health care related needs of those most in need throughout New York State. This new foundation, which will operate in conformity with Catholic values, could become one of the largest charitable foundations in New York, and it will be dedicated to serving vulnerable and at-risk populations regardless of their faith. Fidelis has retained Arabella Advisors, experts in establishing and structuring foundations, to guide this process.
Of course, there are many steps still to come before this transaction is finalized, including review by state regulators. However, I wanted to let you know of this exciting development today, and to assure you that, even as health care continues to evolve to meet ever-changing times, the commitment of the bishops who serve on Fidelis’ board to serving people in need, in imitation of Jesus, the Divine Physician, remains as strong as ever.
Please know that you will have a special remembrance in my prayers today. Might I ask your prayers for our brothers and sisters in need, particularly those whose lives have been touched by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, and the earthquake in Mexico.
Faithfully in Christ,
Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York