CVS’s Aetna Unit Gets Big Boost From Utilization Decline

While Aetna is just one part of CVS Health Corp.’s massive health care enterprise, it was disproportionately responsible for the company’s strong financial performance during the second quarter of 2020, thanks to the effects of COVID-19.

CVS’s quarterly adjusted earnings per share of $2.64 easily beat the Wall Street consensus estimate of $1.91, and its adjusted EPS increased nearly 40% compared with the second quarter of 2019. The majority of that earnings growth was attributable to the firm’s health care benefits segment — housing its Aetna business unit — “which saw an unprecedented decline in utilization due to the pandemic,” Chief Financial Officer Eva Boratto said during the company’s Aug. 5 earnings call.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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