If the "big five" U.S. health insurers' fourth-quarter earnings reports made one fact clear, it's that the profitability of their Affordable Care Act exchange products continues to be an issue.
Humana said Wednesday that it recorded a premium deficiency reserve totaling $176 million--or $0.74 per share--for the fourth quarter to cover anticipated losses on its individual commercial policies.
Cigna reported Thursday that its fourth-quarter adjusted income from operations rose to $486 million, or $1.87 per share, up from $475 million ($1.80 per share) at the same time in 2014.
Aetna on Monday reported a net income of $320.8 million, or $.91 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2015, a 38 percent rise from the same time last year.
In its fourth-quarter earnings report Wednesday, Anthem said its net income fell 64 percent, in part because of challenges tied to its individual business. Its government business, however, continues to perform well, as its operating revenue rose 17 percent in the quarter.
Though its other business lines continue to perform well, UnitedHealthcare lost $720 million on its Affordable Care Act-compliant plans in 2015, the country's largest insurer said in its fourth-quarter earnings report Tuesday.
As insurers' stocks are hitting all-time highs, the nation's two largest insurers--UnitedHealth and Anthem--ended last year on a high note financially, with both reporting better-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter last year.
Humana's fourth quarter profits soared 86 percent, primarily because of a 12 percent increase in Medicare Advantage plan enrollment and decreased medical claims expenses. The insurer on Monday said
Aetna's fourth-quarter profit rose sharply as a result of its members using few healthcare services, while Cigna's profits dropped. Aetna said Wednesday its earnings increased by 73 percent...
WellPoint's fourth quarter profits fell 39 percent to $335.3 million, down from $548.8 million a year earlier. Unexpectedly high Medicare claims took a toll on the insurer. Although most insurers