Executives at Anthem Inc. (NYSE:ANTM) are starting to talk openly about their frustration with the performance of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) public exchange system.
The company has stuck with America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and avoided the kinds of announcements about an inclination to pull back from the exchange system that some major competitors have made.
The company is reporting a total of $181 million in net income for the quarter on $20 billion in revenue, compared to $507 million in net income on $19 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2014.
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The company earned $1.14 cents per share, or 4 cents per share less than securities analysts had expected, according to Bloomberg.
The company ended the quarter providing or administering major medical coverage for 39 million people, up 2.9 percent from the number it was covering a year earlier.
Joe Swedish, Anthem’s chairman, said today at a conference call the company held to discuss earnings that problems in the individual business hurt the commercial insurance unit’s performance.
“Operating results on the public exchanges have lagged expectations during the year as membership was more than 30 percent behind our original expectations,” Swedish said.
Wayne DeVeydt, the chief financial officer, said Anthem is seeing a shortfall in revenue growth because of lack of growth at the public exchange operations.
For a look at more of what Swedish and other executives said today, read on.
1. Anthem might not be as enthusiastic about offering individual coverage in 2017.
Anthem’s exchange ended the year with about 791,000 exchange plan enrollees.
As postponements of implementation of PPACA provisions expire, Anthem executives expect to see differences between fully PPACA-compliant coverage and other types of individual major medical coverage go away.
Total individual enrollment was 1.7 million at the end of 2015, down 6.6 percent from individual enrollment at the end of 2014.
Anthem expects to see total enrollment in all types of individual coverage continue to fall over the coming year, DeVeydt said.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation today put out a commentary in which Kathy Hempstead, an analyst, suggested that the failure of many of the new member-owned, nonprofit Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) carriers and a possible withdrawal by UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) might not have that big of an effect on public exchange product menus.