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Gail Boudreaux, president and chief executive officer of Anthem Inc., speaks during a coronavirus briefing with health insurers in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. The window for fully containing the coronavirus has passed in some parts of the U.S. and the White House will roll out plans later Tuesday to mitigate its impact. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg

Life Health > Health Insurance > Medicare Planning

Insurance Giant Sees Strong Medicare Plan Selling Season

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What You Need to Know

  • Elevance is the company previously known as Anthem.
  • It covers 47 million people but was slow to warm to Medicare Advantage.
  • Executives talked about plan extras during a conference call with securities analysts.

Medicare Advantage plan extras are starting to get attention on Wall Street.

Gail Boudreaux, the CEO of Elevance Health — the health insurance giant once known as Anthem — talked about the appeal of supplemental benefits during a time of high inflation Wednesday during a conference call with securities analysts.

About 75% of the plans Elevance is offering for 2023 have a $0 monthly premium. Many offer transportation, dental, vision and in-home support benefits.

And some of the “free” plans provide prepaid cards that enrollees can use to buy groceries.

“With widespread pressure on the cost of daily living, affordability and value are more important for seniors than ever,” Boudreaux said.

Elevance held the conference call to go over third-quarter results with securities analysts. The quarter ended Sept. 30.

What It Means

Because a wide range of social factors can affect health outcomes, Medicare Advantage program health outcomes incentives may be giving health insurers a financial incentive to ensure that enrollees have a good standard of living.

You want your clients to have good insurance and adequate savings.

Elevance wants them to have fresh fruits and vegetables in their kitchens.

The Market

Elevance is an Indianapolis-based company that provides or administers health coverage for 47 million people, through a wide range of commercial health insurance and government health coverage programs.

Medicare Advantage gives private insurers a chance to offer coverage to the 64 million people who are eligible for Medicare. Plan revenue includes Medicare program money as well as enrollee premium payments.

The program is getting a high level of attention now because the annual election period for Medicare Advantage plans for 2023 started Saturday and runs through Dec. 7.

Elevance was slow to expand into the Medicare Advantage plan market. It now has about 2 million Medicare Advantage plan enrollees, or about 7% of all of the 29 million Medicare Advantage plan enrollees.

Executives from UnitedHealth Group, a Minnetonka, Minnesota-based health insurer with a 24% share of Medicare Advantage plan enrollment, said last week that the company expects program-wide enrollment to increase about 8% in 2023, with UnitedHealth enrollment growing faster than the program average.

Centene, another large Medicare market player, will release earnings that may shed more light on the Medicare plan market on Oct. 25.

Aetna’s parent and Humana expect to release their third-quarter results Nov. 2, and Cigna will release its earnings Nov. 3.

The Numbers

Elevance is reporting $1.6 billion in net income for the third quarter on $40 billion in revenue, up from $1.5 billion in net income on $36 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2021.

Elevance ended the quarter providing or administering health coverage for 47 million people, or 4.9% more than it was covering a year earlier.

Here’s what happened to the number of people covered by specific types of Elevance health coverage products between the third quarter of 2021 and the latest quarter:

  • Individual commercial: 800,000 (up from 769,000)
  • Medicare Advantage: 2 million (up from 1.9 million)
  • Medicare supplement plans: 945,000 (down from 947,000)
  • Self-funded employer plans: 27 million (up from 26 million)
  • Fully insured employer plans: 4 million (up from 3.9 million)

The number of life and disability members rose to 4.8 million from, 4.7 million.

Enrollment in the company’s dental plans increased 0.3% to 6.7 million, and enrollment in dental plans that Elevance administers — rather than insures — increased 6.1% to 1.6 million.

Pictured: Gail Boudreaux. (Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg)


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