Executives at Anthem Inc. (NYSE:ANTM) — the health insurer that recently changed its name from WellPoint — say they are happy with how the company performed in the fourth quarter.
Executives had only good things to say about the company’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) public exchange plan program.
The executives talked about the PPACA exchange program and other PPACA programs today during a conference call with securities analysts.
The company is reporting $507 million in net income for the quarter on $19 billion in revenue, compared with $148 million in net income on $18 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2014.
See also: WellPoint earnings: 5 PPACA takeaways
The company ended the year providing or administering health coverage for 37 million people, or 5.2 percent more than it was covering earlier. That total includes 707,000 PPACA exchange qualified health plan (QHP) enrollees.
Enrollment in Medicare plans fell 2.6 percent, to 1.4 million, and increased 19 percent at Medicare plans, to 5.2 million. Group enrollment increased 5.1 percent, and overall individual enrollment rose 2.2 percent.
Executives spent much of their time during the call talking about Medicaid program bidding efforts and efforts to get health care providers to share some of the financial risk involved with providing care.
Executives also talked about medical cost trends, or changes in the underlying cost of care. The company found that the medical cost trend at local groups increased 6.5 percent in 2014. The company is expecting a return to more normal levels of use of care and the expense of new hepatitis C treatments could increase the medical cost trend to 7 percent this year.
For more about what the executives said, read on.
1. Anthem has not seen any dramatic moves by small employers to send workers to the public exchange system.
Small group enrollment fell in the fourth quarter, but retention levels were high, according to Wayne DeVeydt, the chief financial officer.
“Declines were less than expected,” DeVeydt said.