All six of the major health insurers topped Wall Street expectations in the second quarter as the industry distanced itself from turmoil in Washington.
Cigna Corp. was the final insurer in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to report on Friday. Its earnings came in higher than analysts anticipated and the company raised its profit outlook for the year.
For-profit health plans, among them UnitedHealth Group Inc., Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc., are benefiting from their decisions to largely retreat from the Affordable Care Act’s markets after posting losses. Their stocks have soared this year, even while the fate of the health law was in jeopardy in Washington.
Although Republicans’ latest effort to repeal Obamacare failed in the Senate last month, President Donald Trump has threatened to let the health law collapse, and its future remains uncertain.
Centene Corp., the smallest of the S&P 500 health plans, is also the best performing of the six this year with a 47 percent jump as of Thursday’s close. Anthem Inc. is second with a 33 percent gain, followed by Cigna, up 32 percent. Meanwhile the S&P 500 rose 10 percent.