KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Anthem Blames Poor Profit Showing On Health Law

The second-largest U.S. insurer says it had about 800,000 enrollees under the Affordable Care Act, which was 30 percent less than projected. It warns that premiums for those individuals will go up next year.

Reuters: Health Insurer Anthem Says Obamacare Costs Drag Down Fourth-Quarter Profit
Health insurer Anthem Inc, which is in the process of buying smaller rival Cigna Corp, said on Wednesday its individual Obamacare exchange health plans weighed on fourth-quarter profit, causing it to miss analysts' expectations. Anthem said that it had nearly 800,000 people enrolled in plans through the exchanges, which were created under President Barack Obama's national healthcare reform law, about 30 percent below its expectations. Without the membership it had planned for, costs of running the business were too high, Anthem said. (Humer, 27)

Bloomberg: Obamacare Will Probably Cost More in 2017, Top Insurer Says
Anthem Inc., the second-largest U.S. health insurer by membership, said premiums for Obamacare insurance probably will go up next year. Anthem is eking out a small profit from selling policies to individuals under the Affordable Care Act. Many of its rivals aren’t, though, which means prices have to go up, the company told investors and analysts on Wednesday. (Tracer, 1/27)

The Wall Street Journal: Anthem Medical Costs Rise
Health insurer Anthem Inc. said more of its premiums went toward paying medical costs in its latest quarter, eating into profit, though revenue rose more than expected. The company also said it expects revenue for 2016 in the range of $80 billion to $81 billion, below analysts’ consensus expectations for $82.98 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. (Steele and Wilde Mathews, 1/27)

The Associated Press: Anthem 4Q Profit Falls 64 Pct, Misses Expectations
Anthem’s fourth-quarter earnings tumbled 64 percent as the health insurer absorbed some sizeable expenses and booked fewer customers than it expected through the Affordable Care Act’s public insurance exchanges. The Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer continued to expand its business from government programs like Medicaid and reaffirmed its forecast for the new year. But earnings fell short of Wall Street expectations, and its stock price fell more than 2 percent in afternoon trading Wednesday. (Murphy, 1/27)

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