Anthem’s first quarter profits reached $1.8 billion thanks to strong enrollment in its Medicaid and Medicare Advantage plans.
Anthem, which operates an array of government and commercial health insurance including Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in 14 states, Wednesday reported first quarter profits rose 8.4% to $1.8 billion, or $7.39 per share, compared to $1.67 billion, or $6.71 per share, in the year ago quarter. Revenue rose nearly 17.6% to $38 billion compared to $32.4 billion a year ago.
Anthem’s membership grew by 3.3 million, or 7.5%, to 46.8 million as of March 31, 2022 compared to a year ago.
A big chunk of the health plan growth game from Anthem’s government business enrollment, which increased by 2.1 million enrollees driven in part by the Medicaid business. Health insurers like Anthem enroll low income Americans into private Medicaid plans via contracts with states.
Anthem also saw big growth in sales of Medicare Advantage plans, which offer seniors more benefits than traditional Medicare and are administered by Anthem. Medicare Advantage enrollment was up nearly 25% to 1.9 million in the first quarter compared to the year-ago period.
Anthem’s profits, along with lower-than-expected medical expenses, contributed to the company’s decision to raise its financial outlook health for the rest of 2021 with adjusted net income expected to be “greater than $28.40 per share.” That compares to an earlier forecast of greater than $28.25.
“Our strong momentum across all our businesses is evidence that our transformation to become a lifetime, trusted health partner continues to drive our growth and accelerate our capabilities focused on whole person health,” Anthem chief executive Gail Boudreaux said.
Anthem is in the process of rebranding the company to become Elevance Health to focus the health insurance company on “whole health” of customers and patients. The change is expected to be approved at the company’s annual shareholders meeting next month.