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Anthem reports flat operating revenues due to exit from Affordable Care Act market

Net income increased 30 percent driven by premium rate increases, the return of the health insurance tax and the acquisition of MA plans.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

Anthem reported a 30 percent increase in net income for the first quarter compared to the same three months of 2017, but operating revenues remained relatively flat primarily due to the insurer's planned exits from the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

On Wednesday, Anthem reported net income for the first quarter of $1.3 billion, versus 1 billion for the first three months in 2017.

First quarter operating revenues were relatively flat at $22.3 billion year-over-year due to a decrease in its individual market business.

In 2017, Anthem announced it would cut back its ACA footprint by about 70 percent.

Revenues were helped by premium rate increases to cover overall cost trends, the return of the health insurance tax and the acquisitions of HealthSun and America's 1st Choice. 

Anthem's acquisition of HealthSun, completed at the end of 2017, added a Medicare Advantage health plan and delivery network in Florida.

The acquisition of America's 1st Choice was finalized in February. The privately-held, for-profit Medicare Advantage organization  offers HMO products, including chronic special needs plans and dual-eligible special needs plans under its Freedom Health and Optimum brands in Florida. The deal added 135,000 Medicare Advantage members and included a 5 star plan.

Anthem's medical enrollment totaled approximately 39.6 million members as of March 31, a decrease of 1 million or 2.5 percent percent, from 40.6 million at March 31, 2017.

The company said it now expects medical enrollment to be between 40.1 - 40.3 million for the full year 2018.

Counteracting the individual market decline, Anthem's government business grew 10 percent year-over-year through a focus on serving the complex social and medical requirements of the dual special needs population.

Medical enrollment declined by 616,000 during the first quarter reflecting a decrease in the individual and local group fully-insured businesses. Medicare grew by 237,000 members and Medicaid enrollment declined by 120,000 individuals.

"We are pleased with our first quarter 2018 financial performance, which reflects our commitment to strong medical cost performance by effectively leveraging community based innovative and integrated clinical and value based care models across our markets," said CEO and President Gail Boudreaux. "Throughout 2018, we are prioritizing investments to create a more flexible infrastructure that can quickly respond to the evolving needs of our customers and the changing healthcare environment."

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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