The nation’s largest insurers, such as Anthem, Humana and UnitedHealth Group, are reporting second-quarter earnings that are double what they were a year ago.
CVS Health, which owns Aetna, posted much higher earnings. CVS, which also owns a large pharmacy benefit manager and a drugstore chain, said net income for the second quarter reached $3.0 billion, approximately $1.0 billion more than it reported for the same period in 2019, on revenues of $65.0 billion. Anthem’s net income soared to $2.3 billion for the second quarter, from $1.1 billion in 2019, while UnitedHealth reported net earnings of $6.7 billion, compared to $3.4 billion for the same three (3) months last year.
The main reason of profit surge is that insurers have shelled out billions of dollars less in medical claims in the last three (3) months because expensive, elective surgeries have been postponed in many places. Moreover, people have steered clear of doctors’ offices and emergency rooms in fear of contagion.
Under the federal health care law, insurers are required to use a fixed percentage of the money they take in from premiums for their customers’ medical expenses. But Insurers are currently spending a far lower portion of premium revenue on their customers’ health care costs. Eventually consumers should get some of this year’s money back.
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