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The PPACA watcher’s earnings release calendar

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The upcoming earnings season – for the fourth quarter of 2014 and for the full calendar year – may be good chance to learn more about what the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is really doing to the U.S. health finance system.

Publicly traded insurers, hospital companies, brokers and drug companies have been dribbling information out throughout the year.

More patients entering the hospital have coverage.

The health insurers still exist.

Few of the health insurers or hospital companies have been saying much about how much patients are actually paying for care, how quickly the patients are paying for care, or how much of the insurers’ comfort with the PPACA public exchange system is the result of actual claims experience and how much is due to an assumption that the Obama administration will dodge congressional interference and get the PPACA “three R’s” risk-management programs to pay benefits as the insurers hope.

See also: Health insurance story of the year: The shoe that dropped

Now that the players have a full year of data, including better data for the first half of 2014, PPACA watchers may get a clearer picture of what’s going on from the earnings releases the companies issue, earnings release supplements, and conference calls with securities analysts. Members of the public can usually listen to a company’s earnings conference call live, either over the telephone or over the Web, by signing up through a form in the investor relations section of the company’s website.

On the next page is a calendar listing some of the major players issuing earnings in the next few weeks, along with the company’s tentative release time and date. Click on the name of the company to get more information from the company’s investor relations site.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) – 8:45 a.m. EST Jan. 21.

Anthem Inc. (NYSE:ANTH) – 6 a.m. EST Jan. 28. 

HCA Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HCA) – 9:30 a.m. EST Feb. 2.