Financial Results

Cigna Eases Investor Fears With Better Medical Cost, Membership

Cigna Corp. pleased Wall Street with its first-quarter 2022 financial results, touting a solid increase in commercial self-funded membership and a better-than-projected medical loss ratio (MLR) of 81.5%.

The insurer posted first-quarter 2022 net income of $1.18 billion ($3.68 per share) on revenue of $44.0 billion, up from net income of $1.16 billion ($3.30 per share) on revenue of $40.1 billion for the same period in 2021.

Cigna’s self-funded commercial membership rose 9% to 12.5 million through March 31, while insured commercial membership rose 2% to 2.2 million. In all, Cigna had 17.8 million medical members on March 31, 2022, up about 700,000 or 4% from Dec. 31, 2021, when it stood at 16.7 million.

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Aetna Is Star of the Show in CVS First-Quarter Financial Results

CVS Health Corp. posted robust financial results in the first quarter of this year, with revenues increasing by 11.2% to $76.8 billion. Wall Street praised the firm — particularly its Aetna health insurance division — for delivering strong results, and predicted the Caremark PBM would overcome disappointing results for the first quarter.

The integrated health care company’s quarterly adjusted operating income was $4.48 billion, increasing nearly 7% year-over-year from the first quarter of 2021.

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MCO Stock Performance, April 2022

Here’s how major health insurers’ stock performed in April 2022. UnitedHealth Group had the highest closing stock price among major commercial insurers as of April 29, 2022, at $508.55. Molina Healthcare, Inc. had the highest closing stock price among major Medicaid insurers at $313.45.

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PHE Extension, Medicare AEP Boost ’22 Earnings Projections

Better-than-expected first-quarter 2022 earnings aided by Medicare open enrollment successes and the extension of the public health emergency (PHE) drove several insurers at press time to raise their earnings guidance for the year. Some, however, approached their projections with caution as variant-driven surges in the COVID-19 pandemic continue to create uncertainty around utilization.

Reporting first-quarter earnings on April 27, Humana Inc. said its results from the latest Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP) were slightly better than projected and it is making progress on a $1 billion value creation plan unveiled last quarter that will allow the company to further enhance its Medicare offerings. For the AEP that ended Dec. 7, improvements were “driven by higher sales and improved voluntary termination rates,” explained President and CEO Bruce Broussard during an April 27 conference call to discuss recent quarterly earnings. Broussard also provided a detailed update on Humana’s efforts to improve the sales experience through its various distribution channels.

Centene CEO London Addresses Issues With Medi-Cal Rx Launch

Sarah London, Centene Corp.’s new CEO, acknowledged during the insurer’s April 26 first-quarter earnings call that “there were challenges out of the gate” when the company’s Magellan Health unit took over California’s Medi-Cal Rx program in January. But, she added, “I think the team recovered incredibly well.”

London’s comments came after the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) said it is investigating Centene’s PBM practices following a California Healthline article earlier this month that detailed numerous issues with the launch. A DHCS spokesperson confirmed the investigation via email to AIS Health, a division of MMIT, but would not elaborate on details.

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Favorable Pharmacy Results Power Humana’s Solid Earnings

Humana Inc.’s financial performance in the first quarter of this year received mostly positive reviews from Wall Street. Revenue growth from the health insurer’s mail-order pharmacy business alongside modest care utilization allowed the firm’s executives to raise their end-of-year earnings guidance.

The firm took in $23.9 billion in total revenue in the quarter, an increase from $20.6 billion in the first quarter last year. Humana’s pretax income for the quarter was $1.2 billion, up from about $1 billion in the first quarter of 2021. The firm’s adjusted earnings per share also increased year-over-year, going up to $8.04 from $7.67.

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Key Financial Data for Leading Health Plans — Fourth Quarter 2021

Here’s how major U.S. health insurers performed financially in the fourth quarter of 2021. Health Plan Weekly subscribers can access more health plan financial data — including year-over-year comparisons of leading health plans’ net income, premium revenue, medical loss ratios and net margins. Just email support@aishealth.com to request spreadsheets for current and past quarters.

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Anthem Raises Profit Forecast for 2022 After Promising 1Q

Anthem, Inc. reported strong first quarter financial results, prompting the insurer to raise its earnings guidance for the year. The company attributed the change largely to a lower-than-expected COVID-19 impact, as the Omicron variant and the long-term effect of delayed care during previous COVID peak periods was less severe than Anthem had originally projected in January.

For the first quarter, Anthem generated $8.25 in adjusted earnings per share (EPS), beating the Wall Street consensus of $7.82. The insurer increased its full-year EPS guidance to greater than $28.40, up from its previous EPS estimate of $28.25.

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UnitedHealth Delivers Strong 1Q, Touts MA, Value-Based Growth

Despite variations in care utilization due to COVID-19 that drove up medical costs early in the quarter, UnitedHealth Group reported a strong start to 2022, with financial results exceeding analysts’ expectations driven by outperformance in both the UnitedHealthcare and Optum Health segments. As the company anticipates continued growth in value-based care initiatives and Medicare Advantage enrollment throughout the year, it raised its full-year adjusted earnings-per-share (EPS) outlook by 90 cents to a range of $21.20 to $21.70.

For the three months ending on March 31, the company recorded overall revenues of $80.1 billion, representing a year-over-year increase of 14.2% that reflected double-digit growth at both Optum and UnitedHealthcare. The UnitedHealthcare segment reported $62.6 billion in revenues, up 13.6% from $55.1 billion a year ago, and operating earnings of $3.8 billion, compared with $4.1 billion last year, reflecting the effects of “pandemic-disrupted care patterns,” the company explained in its earnings press release. Revenue for the Medicare & Retirement segment was $29.1 billion, up from nearly $25.5 billion in the first quarter of 2021.

UnitedHealth Sees Sunny 1Q, Says Deferred Care Impact Is MIA

UnitedHealth Group on April 14 reported first-quarter 2022 financial results that beat Wall Street expectations and led the health care behemoth to raise its full-year earnings guidance. The firm also offered insights into health care utilization trends that could serve as good news for the entire industry, as executives said they still have not seen evidence of members’ health conditions deteriorating because of care deferred during the pandemic.

Overall, care utilization in the quarter was roughly at baseline levels, Chief Financial Officer John Rex said during UnitedHealth’s conference call to discuss quarterly results. With the Omicron variant-driven surge early in the year, the company recorded about 40,000 COVID-19-related hospitalizations in January — “the highest of any month since the onset of the pandemic,” Rex said. But by March, hospitalizations declined to around 2,000 as the surge receded.

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