(Photo: Allison Bell/TA)

Anthem Inc. and Centene Corp. posted solid results for the second quarter as the Senate monpolized investor attention.

(Related: A Q2 Insurance Earnings Release Guide for Agents)

Anthem, the multi-state Blue Cross and Blue Shield giant, is reporting $855 million in net income for the second quarter on $22 billion in revenue, up from $781 million in net income on $21 billion in revenue for the second quarter of 2016.

The Indianapolis-based company ended the quarter providing or administering major medical coverage for 40 million people, or about 1.6% more people than it was covering a year earlier.

Enrollment in individual and family policies fell 1.8%, to 1.8 million, but enrollment in local group coverage increased 3.4%, to 16 million.

About 1 million of the individual and family policyholders were in Affordable Care Act public exchange plans; 500,000 were in Affordable Care Act-compliant policies sold outside of the exchange system; and 300,000 were in policies written under the pre-Affordable Care Act rules.

Medicaid plan enrolment grew 3%, to 6.5 million, and Medicare plan enrollment grew 4.1%, to 1.5 million.

Joseph Swedish, Anthem’s president, said today during a conference call with securities analysts that Anthem has already pulled out of Affordable Care Act state exchange programs that serve about 10% of its exchange plan enrollees, and that it might pull out of other state’s exchange programs if it does not get some more information about how the individual market will work in 2018.

“There are still major areas of marketplace uncertainty,” Swedish said.

Centene, a St.Louis-based company with large managed Medicaid plan operations, is reporting $252 million in net income for the second quarter on $12 billion in revenue, up from $170 million in net income on $11 billion in revenue for the second quarter of 2016.

Centene ended the quarter providing or administering major medical coverage for 12.2 million people, up from 11.4 million people earlier.

Enrollment in Centene exchange plans increased to 1.1 million, from 617,700.

Centene focuses mainly on providing exchange plan coverage aimed at low-income people who move back and forth between Medicaid coverage and exchange plan coverage.

Centene executives said during their company’s earnings call that the exchange plan business did better than expected and produced margins higher than the company’s Medicaid plans.

Both Swedish and Centene Chairman Michael Neidorff emphasized the importance of getting clarity on health insurance laws, rules and programs from Washington. Neidorff was especially emphatic about the need for the federal government to keep making Affordable Care Act cost-sharing reduction subsidy program payments.

The program helps low-income exchange plan users handle their co-payments, deductibles and coinsurance amounts. 

— Read GOP May Use Subsidy Case to Smother ACA Exchange System on ThinkAdvisor