KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Humana Reports Drop In First Quarter Profits

The insurer attributed the decrease to paying out more in claims, as well as additional investment as it anticipates strong growth in its Medicare Advantage plans.

The Wall Street Journal: Ahead Of The Tape: Humana Is Poised To Weather Any Ills
Careful what you wish for—you just might get it. Investors in health insurers squirmed through the first year-and-a-half of Barack Obama's presidency as his industry overhaul took shape. Now, the sector that seemingly stood to lose the most from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is in no mood to cheer the constitutional challenge the law faces in the Supreme Court. Happily for Humana, the possible repeal of all or part of the health-care law would be less of a blow than that faced by insurers such as Aetna Inc. or WellPoint Inc. For them, the individual mandate, the requirement that everyone carry coverage or face penalties, amounts to the government forcing tens of millions of people to use their services (Jakab, 4/29).

The Associated Press: Humana Reports 21 Percent Drop In 1Q Profit
Humana Inc. said Monday that its first-quarter profit fell 21 percent as the health insurer paid out more in claims and bolstered spending in anticipation of growth in its lucrative Medicare Advantage membership. ... Humana cited favorable claims trends from prior periods in raising its forecast. In essence, Humana set aside more money in previous quarters than was needed to pay claims during a slowdown in the use of health care services by consumers who felt pinched during the recession (Schreiner, 4/30).

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