KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Aetna Smashes Second-Quarter Expectations With 52 Percent Profit Jump

Aetna added Medicare customers and grew the health plans it provides for large employers. A pullback from the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges also helped its business improve compared to last year's quarter.

The Wall Street Journal: Aetna Profit Rises On Better Pricing; Company Raises Outlook
Aetna Inc. reported a stronger profit for its second quarter, boosted by limited medical spending and better-than-expected results from Affordable Care Act programs intended to reduce insurers’ risk on health-law insurance plans. The insurer, which joins others in the industry that have previously reported positive results, highlighted the growth and future prospects in its government business, particularly its continuing expansion in Medicare Advantage, the plans sold by private insurers under the federal program, as it continued detailing its strategy after the failure of its effort to buy Humana Inc. That deal was terminated in February after a federal judge ruled it would violate antitrust law. (Wilde Mathews and Vasquez, 8/3)

Bloomberg: Drama With Obamacare And Humana Over, Aetna Results ‘Crush’
After dropping a deal for one of its biggest rivals and largely quitting Obamacare, health insurer Aetna Inc. may have been better off sticking to its knitting all along. The insurer raised its full-year forecast after posting second-quarter results that exceeded analysts’ expectations, helped along by its core business running health benefits for employers. Earlier this year, it called off a takeover with Humana Inc., and it has also pulled back from doing business in the Affordable Care Act -- insulating itself from Washington’s health-care turmoil. (Tracer, 8/3)

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