Executives from Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) talked a little more about the effects of the new minimum medical loss ratio (MLR) rebates than executives from other large health insurers have in recent days, but not much more.
Aetna, Hartford, is reporting $511 million in net income for the latest quarter on $8.9 billion in revenue, compared with $586 million in net income on $8.4 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2011.
The company ended the quarter providing or administering health coverage for about 18 million people, about as many people as it was covering a year earlier.
Commercial plan enrollment held steady at about 16 million.
The minimum MLR provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) now require health insurers to spend 85% of large commercial group revenue and 80% of individual and small commercial group revenue on health care and quality improvement efforts or else send customers rebates to make up for low MLRs.
Aetna’s commercial medical benefit ratio increased to 79.9% for the first quarter, from 77% a year earlier.
The company did not mention the PPACA minimum MLR rules in its first-quarter earnings releases.
One large competitor, WellPoint Inc., Indianapolis (NYSE:WLP), also ignored the topic in its earnings release, and company executives mentioned the topic only briefly during a conference call with analysts. Another competitor, UnitedHealth Group Inc., Minnetonka, Minn. (NYSE:UNH), said that it had recorded a $130 million due to adjustments in its rebate total but gave little information about the adjustments.
Aetna executives did discuss the MLR rebate topic during their conference call, but not in an especially clear way.