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Anthem Increases Medicare Advantage Enrollment 15%

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What You Need to Know

  • Anthem increased enrollment in its Medicare Advantage plans to 1.5 million by the end of the first quarter.
  • Enrollment in self-insured dental plans rose 13%.
  • Anthem reported $1.7 billion in net income for the first quarter on $32 billion revenue.

Anthem Inc. increased enrollment in its Medicare Advantage plans to 1.5 million by the end of the first quarter.

That’s up 15% from the total the company recorded a year earlier, according to the Indianapolis-based health insurer’s latest earnings report.

Anthem is the second big health insurer to report significantly higher Medicare Advantage plan enrollment this quarter.

UnitedHealth Group Inc., a major competitor, announced last week that it had increased its Medicare Advantage plan enrollment 14%, to 6.3 million people.

The Medicare Advantage program gives private insurers a chance to sell plans that serve as an alternative to traditional Medicare coverage. The program provides coverage for about 27 million Medicare enrollees, according to Mark Farrah Associates.

Anthem increased faster, in percentage terms, than any of the other carriers that rank in the top 10 in terms of Medicare Advantage plan enrollees, according to Mark Farrah data.

The Earnings

Anthem is reporting $1.7 billion in net income for the first quarter on $32 billion revenue, up from $1.5 billion in net income on $30 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2020.

The firm cited the impact of COVID-19 claim costs several times in the earnings announcement, but no numbers were provided.

Benefits expense as a percentage of premiums increased to 85.6%, from 84.2%.

Enrollment

Anthem ended the first quarter providing or administering health coverage for 44 million people, or 3.3% more than it was covering a year earlier.

Here’s what happened to the number of people covered by specific types of Anthem health coverage products between the first quarter of 2020 and the latest quarter:

  • Individual Commercial: 731,000 (up from 717,000)
  • Medicare Advantage: 1.5 million (up from 1.3 million)
  • Medicare Supplement: 930,000 (up from 914,000)
  • Self-Funded Employer Plans: 25.7 million (down from 26.1 million)
  • Fully Insured Employer Plans: 3.8 million (unchanged)

In spite of reports of increased consumer and employer interest in life and disability insurance, the number of life and disability members fell 7.6%, to 4.8 million.

Enrollment in the company’s dental plans increased 1.9%, to 6.6 million, and enrollment in dental plans that Anthem administers, rather than insurers, increased 13%, to 1.5 million.

 

(Photo: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)