Anthem Inc. executives are telling securities analysts, repeatedly, in public, that they would like to sell more insurance products, and to sell those products through brokers.
Executives said Wednesday, during a conference call with securities analysts, that they hope giving brokers more support will lead to more sales of what Anthem classifies as “specialty benefits.” At Anthem, the specialty benefits category includes products such as life insurance, disability insurance, vision benefits and dental insurance.
Anthem is an Indianapolis-based health insurance giant that holds a Blue Cross license, a Blue Shield license, or both a Blue Cross and Blue Shield license in 14 states. The company’s executives have been saying words such as “insurance” and “broker” out loud, at a time when some other large health insurers have been emphasizing their role as managers of health care services, and minimizing the use of terms such as “insurance” and “broker.”
Gail Koziara Boudreaux, Anthem’s president, said the number of people with Anthem specialty benefits products fell in the second quarter because of a reduction in the company’s level of participation in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) public exchange plan market.
But specialty benefits “has been an area of focus,” Boudreaux said.
Anthem has added leadership and talent in that area, and it believes it’s starting to build momentum there, she said.
Peter Haytaian, president of Anthem’s commercial and specialty business division, said the company believes it has a tremendous opportunity to improve specialty market penetration rates.
“Relative to our competition, we’re not performing as well,” Haytaian said.