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Low Medicare Drug Claims Help Torchmark

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Strong demand for limited-benefit health coverage and solid Medicare Part D prescription plan performance contributed to an increase in second-quarter earnings at Torchmark Corp.

Torchmark, Birmingham, is reporting $132 million in net income for the latest quarter on $ million in revenue, up from $125 million in net income on $ million in revenue for the second quarter of 2005.

Torchmark notes that one of its distribution arms, LNL Agency, terminated some agents who failed to meet previously announced sales production minimums during the quarter.

Torchmark says a continuing employer shift away from major-medical group coverage is helping sales of “mini med” plans, and it says actual Medicare Part D drug costs have been much lower than originally projected.