- Aetna’s Medicaid business boasted 2.3 million enrollees in the 2016 first quarter. That's an increase of 230,000 Medicaid customers compared to the 2015 first quarter, Forbes reports.
- Much of the growth represents newly insured individuals subsidized under the ACA.
- The boost brought the payer's overall medical membership to 23 million — 200,000 more than previous best-case projections.
Payers like Aetna have Medicaid expansion to thank for much of the growth in low-income customers. Since the program was rolled out under the Affordable Care Act, 31 states and the District of Columbia have expanded their Medicaid programs.
During a Thursday earnings call, Aetna officials said the company is taking a careful approach to managing the 911,000 enrollees who purchased individual policies under the ACA, according to Forbes. The firm’s public exchange membership is concentrated in five states where its cost structure is sound.
While the company expects to break even on the exchanges this year, it remains concerned about Obamacare’s future. Still, Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini said Aetna has no plans to exit any of the exchanges this year.
While the company boasted strong ACA plan results for the quarter, Aetna's overall net income did fall to $726.6 million, compared with $777.5 million in 2015 Q1. In its healthcare segment, net income was $758.8 million for Q1 2016, compared with $766.5 million in Q1 2015. The company noted healthcare operating revenues increased by $0.6 billion to $15 billion. Aetna attributed increase primarily to higher premium yields and membership growth in Aetna's government business, somewhat offset by losses in Aetna's group commercial insured products
Officials also revealed about two-thirds of states have approved Aetna’s acquisition of Humana, adding expect to close the deal in the second half of 2016. This week, California's insurance commissioner Dave Jones pulled no punches and noted his skeptism at a testimony over the merger.
Jones said he was “skeptical in light of past studies” that suggest consumers often get the short end of the stick when insurers merge.