(Bloomberg) — WellPoint Inc., the second-largest U.S. health insurer, has increased its 2014 earnings forecast.
Net income this year will be greater than $8.20 a share, WellPoint (NYSE:WLP) said in a statement today. Earlier, WellPoint had said only that earnings would be more than $8 per share.
Securities analysts have given Bloomberg estimates with an average value of $8.39 per share.
WellPoint expects the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) public exchanges and other PPACA programs to increase major medical plan enrollment by 1 million to 1.3 million this year.
The company reported in January that PPACA had helped it add 500,000 members since the individual exchange “qualified health plan” (QHP) open enrollment period started in October.
“We’re very optimistic as to where we are” on the exchanges, said Ken Goulet, a WellPoint executive vice president, said today at an investor meeting in New York.
The average age of the new QHP enrollees “came in right where we expected it to be,” Goulet said.