News Briefs

✦ UnitedHealth Group on April 15 reported first-quarter 2020 adjusted earnings per share of $3.72, in line with the same period last year, and maintained its full year EPS outlook in the range of $16.25 to $16.55. These results reflected “minimal impact from the progression” of COVID-19 across the U.S., given that it emerged late in the quarter, according to a press release. Revenues for the quarter ending March 31 rose 6.8% to $64.4 billion, “reflecting broad-based revenue growth across Optum and UnitedHealthcare,” and UHC’s medical loss ratio dropped from 82.0% in the year-ago quarter to 81.0% in the recent quarter, largely as a result of the Affordable Care Act health insurer fee returning and partly offset by additional calendar days. UHC’s first-quarter revenues increased by 4.4% to $51.1 billion, primarily due to enrollment growth in Medicare Advantage and Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans; revenues in the Medicare & Retirement segment climbed 9.7% to $23.2 billion in the recent quarter, as the business grew to serve 5.6 million MA enrollees — a year-over-year increase of 410,000. The company added that UnitedHealth Group President and Optum CEO Andrew Witty is taking a leave of absence to help lead the World Health Organization’s new initiative for COVID-19 vaccine development. View the release at https://bit.ly/3co3qGC.

✦ Medicare Advantage has experienced year-to-date (YTD) enrollment growth of 6.4%, and added nearly 78,000 members from March to April, according to a Credit Suisse analysis of the latest enrollment figures from CMS. YTD enrollment this year is “above the pace of the prior two years,” which was 4.8% in 2019 and 5.2% in 2018, and “runs counter to conventional wisdom which says the return of the HIF [health insurer fee] should dampen the Y/Y growth rate,” wrote Credit Suisse analyst A.J. Rice on April 15. UnitedHealth Group and Humana Inc. were YTD growth leaders, as UnitedHealth added an industry-leading 355,900 members and Humana grew by 337,300 enrollees, Credit Suisse estimated. The five major MCOs (including CVS Health Corp.’s Aetna), which account for roughly 61.6% of total MA enrollments, have cumulatively grown 8.1% YTD, compared with 3.7% YTD growth for the remaining MA plans, added Rice. View the monthly enrollment report at https://go.cms.gov/3cln7P7 or contact Rice at aj.rice@credit-suisse.com.

© 2021 MMIT

AIS Health Staff

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