Caroline's Feed
Feb 4, 2013

Humana quarterly profit falls, flu season to cost $75 million

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Health insurer Humana Inc (HUM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported a drop in fourth-quarter profits on Monday and said it was experiencing the worst flu season in a decade that would cost $75 million for added healthcare services such as hospitalizations.

Its profits beat analyst expectations, however, and it gave a better-than-expected first quarter outlook. Shares rose $3.12, or 4.1 percent, to $78.47 in early trading.

Jan 31, 2013

Aetna profit falls on costs and legal settlement

Jan 31 (Reuters) – Aetna Inc fourth-quarter earnings
fell sharply, the health insurer said on Thursday, as costs rose
in parts of its employer-based insurance business and it took
charges for settling litigation over out-of-network payments.

The company said Chief Financial Officer Joseph Zubretsky
will lead a new business internally. His CFO slot will be filled
by Shawn Guertin, who has been with Aetna since 2011 and was
previously CFO of Coventry Health Care Inc, which Aetna
is buying.

Jan 30, 2013

Bills, bills, bills replace the co-pay, sapping time and money

January 30 (Reuters) – Many Americans who visit the doctor
this year are in for some unexpected pain.

A growing number, many of them in employer-sponsored health
plans, are enrolled in high-deductible health insurance plans
that typically have lower premiums but require consumers to pay
thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses before coverage
kicks in.

Jan 25, 2013

Insurers tally flu’s costs as U.S. epidemic continues

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The bills for the flu – at epidemic levels in the United States this winter – are piling up.

The nation’s three largest insurers, UnitedHealth Group Inc, WellPoint Inc, and Aetna Inc, have paid at least $100 million more than usual this year to cover doctor and hospital visits by people with the flu.

Jan 23, 2013

WellPoint expects states to expand Medicaid

Jan 23 (Reuters) – A top U.S. insurance industry executive
on Wednesday predicted that most states will agree to expand
their Medicaid programs under President Barack Obama’s
healthcare reform law, despite opposition from more than a dozen
Republican governors.

“In the long run, the economic benefits to the states will
be such that most states will eventually expand Medicaid,” said
Richard Zoretic, the executive vice president who oversees
Medicaid programs at WellPoint Inc., the-second largest
U.S. health insurer.

Jan 23, 2013

WellPoint profit beats, but 2013 outlook “prudent”

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – WellPoint Inc (WLP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported a higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday, but the second-largest U.S. health insurer said it was taking a “prudent” view of 2013 as it faces industry reform.

WellPoint, which sells private health insurance to businesses and individuals and also provides government insurance for the elderly and the poor, is preparing for a round of changes resulting from the U.S. Affordable Care Act.

Jan 17, 2013

UnitedHealth Q4 revenue rises as costs kept in check

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N: Quote, Profile, Research), the largest U.S. health insurer, said on Thursday it kept fourth-quarter costs under control and increased revenue by more than 11 percent, helping earnings per share to rise.

The company, which provides health care benefits through both employer and government-paid insurance plans and serves individuals and military members, also backed its forecast for 2013 revenue growth of at least 11 percent and said earnings would be in a range of slightly down to up 4 percent.

Jan 17, 2013

UnitedHealth says fourth-quarter costs were low and revenue rose

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the largest U.S. health insurer, said on Thursday that it kept fourth-quarter 2012 costs under control and increased revenue by more 11 percent, helping earnings per share rise.

The company, which provides health care benefits through both employer and government paid insurance plans and serves the individual and military markets, also backed its forecast for at least 11 percent 2013 revenue growth and said earnings would be in a range of slightly down to up 4 percent.

Jan 17, 2013

UnitedHealth says Q4 costs were low and revenue rose

Jan 17 (Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc, the
largest U.S. health insurer, said on Thursday that it kept
fourth-quarter 2012 costs under control and increased revenue by
more 11 percent, helping earnings per share rise.

The company, which provides health care benefits through
both employer and government paid insurance plans and serves the
individual and military markets, also backed its forecast for at
least 11 percent 2013 revenue growth and said earnings would be
in a range of slightly down to up 4 percent.

Jan 11, 2013

U.S. faces shortages of flu vaccine, Tamiflu treatment

By Ransdell Pierson and Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – One of the worst U.S. flu seasons in a decade has created shortages of vaccine and the Tamiflu treatment for children, raising the prospect that people considered at high risk of getting the flu might not get the protection they need.

Though shortages are not unusual, the flu’s early arrival and this year’s especially nasty strain mean the situation could worsen.