Anthem made $1 billion in the first quarter of 2017 and said membership increased by 700,000 members compared to Q1 of 2016. The payer reported 40.6 million members as of March 31. The company said it expects enrollment will grow by another 300,000 to 500,000 members by the end of this year.
The Indianapolis-based insurance company has 1.1 million members in the ACA exchanges market and is cautiously working on 2018 rates with the hopes that Congress won’t cut the cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies.
- Anthem is still hoping to acquire insurance company Cigna. A federal court judge blocked the merger and Anthem, in turn, appealed the decision. Anthem also recently filed a motion to bar Cigna from terminating the $54 billion merger.
Another day, another health insurance company involved in the ACA exchanges announced positive earnings. Earlier this week, health insurer Centene Corporation announced 69% revenue growth and a re-commitment to the ACA exchanges.
Despite earlier pronouncements about the ACA exchanges market being in a “death spiral” and insurers threatening to pull out in 2018, news about the individual market is more positive recently. Insurance companies are reporting revenue growth and at least tentatively saying they intend to participate in the exchanges in 2018. Also, a recent report said the market is beginning to stabilize.
However, even supporters of the exchanges say the market won’t truly stabilize unless and until Congress or the White HOuse extend CSR subsidies that pay insurers to cover poorer Americans in the ACA exchanges market. Without those subsidies, insurers have threatened to raise rates or even drop out of the market. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump threatened to stop paying the subsidies unless Democrats back a Republican healthcare reform plan.
The market will remain teetering until the insurance companies get a firm commitment about subsidies. Without that assurance, insurers will view the ACA exchanges market cautiously.