Centene, Humana Execs Downplay COVID, Redetermination Headwinds

Executives from health insurance firms Centene Corp. and Humana Inc. on Sept. 6 pitched investors on rosy projections for the rest of the year at the 2023 Wells Fargo Healthcare Conference — despite ongoing Medicaid eligibility redeterminations and elevated utilization in Medicare Advantage, particularly around COVID-19 hospitalizations.

In remarks during the conference, Centene CEO Sarah London highlighted the spinoffs and balance sheet restructuring that she has orchestrated since taking over the firm in spring 2022. London said that Centene bought back $200 million of shares in August, and “expect[s] to exceed our original $1.5 billion share repurchase target in 2023.”

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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