KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Aetna Wary About Exchange Expansion As Earnings Climb

The insurer, which is participating in health insurance exchanges in 16 states and the District of Columbia, reported strong growth in the first quarter tied to its acquisition of Coventry Health Care Inc. The company said it expected to seek premium increases for next year's exchange plans ranging from "low single digits to over double digits."

The Wall Street Journal: Aetna Raises Outlook On Strong Quarterly Growth
Aetna, which is participating in the health-law exchanges in 16 states and the District of Columbia, ... said it had signed up about 230,000 paid members through the end of the first quarter, and was projecting it could have around 450,000 by the close of the year after a surge at the end of the enrollment period. The company said it expected to seek premium increases for next year's exchange business that could range from "low single digits to over double digits" (Mathews and Rubin, 4/24).

The Associated Press: Aetna’s 1Q Profit Jumps 36 Pct, Forecast Climbs
Its results breezed past analysts’ expectations, and Aetna shares jumped more than 5 percent Thursday after it detailed a starkly different quarter compared with competitor UnitedHealth Group, which dragged down other health insurance stocks last week after it said first quarter earnings fell 8 percent (4/24).

The Washington Post’s Wonkblog: Aetna: Late Obamacare Changes Account For Half Of 2015 Premium Increases
Major health insurers are starting to report their first quarter of financial results under Obamacare's new market rules, giving us some perspective on how they're seeing the law's new insurance marketplaces playing out (Millman, 4/24).

Modern Healthcare: Aetna Guarded About Exchange Expansion Even As Earnings Soar
Aetna remains wary about expanding its presence in public healthcare exchanges for 2015 because of lingering uncertainties about the emerging marketplaces, the company's CEO said Thursday. That news came as the Hartford, Conn.-based insurer reported that it significantly exceeded profit expectations during the first quarter of 2014, and so is projecting higher earnings for the year (Demko, 4/24).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.