October 19, 2022

Enrollment gains help Elevance Health top 3Q forecasts

Enrollment gains help Elevance Health top 3Q forecasts

Growing Medicaid enrollment pushed one of the biggest U.S. health insurers, Elevance Health, to a better-than-expected third quarter and a higher forecast for the year.

The Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurer said Wednesday that enrollment in Medicaid, a state and federally funded program for people with low incomes, climbed nearly 9% in the quarter to 11.3 million.

The insurer also saw gains in some of its employer-sponsored coverage as total enrollment climbed past 47 million people.

States hire insurers to manage their Medicaid programs. The coverage in general has seen big enrollment gains during the COVID-19 pandemic as states have paused their checks to see whether people still qualify.

Overall, Elevance’s profit rose 7% to $1.62 billion in the quarter. Earnings adjusted for one-time gains and costs came to $7.53 per share.

Operating revenue, which excludes investment income, climbed more than 11% to $39.63 billion.

Analysts expected, on average, earnings of $7.10 per share on $39.11 billion in revenue, according to Zacks Investment research.

The company’s net investment income climbed nearly 11% to $371 million. That also contributed to the better-than-expected performance, Jefferies analyst David Windley said in a research note.

Elevance Health Inc., which changed its name earlier this year from Anthem, said it now expects full-year adjusted earnings to be greater than $28.95 per share.

FactSet says analysts expect, on average, earnings of $28.85 per share.

Shares of the Indianapolis-based insurer edged up 2% to $488 in early trading.

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