Sky-High 2Q Profits Train Spotlight on Health Insurers

With health care claims costs reaching ultra-low levels amid lockdowns, canceled elective procedures and consumers’ fear of contracting the novel coronavirus at clinical sites, publicly traded health insurers saw their margins swell significantly in the second quarter of 2020. At the same time, insurers were quick to point out during their earnings conference calls that they have collectively provided billions of dollars’ worth of financial relief to consumers and providers and expect utilization to rebound in the second half of the year.

However, the health insurance industry still found its way into the crosshairs of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, which revealed on Aug. 6 that it will investigate insurers’ business practices “following reports that many of the companies are recording record profit margins during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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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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