Cigna's 3Q profits dive, but rise for Humana

Some discontinued businesses led to a 35 percent dive for Cigna's third quarter profits while income from its main segments grew. The health insurer's net income fell to $200 million from $307 million in the third quarter of last year, according to the Associated Press.

Cigna's earnings plummeted because its reinsurance segment, which it discontinued in 2000 and now operates in run-off mode, had a $179 million loss thanks to to low interest rates and volatility in equity markets, according to the Hartford Courant.

Cigna had 11.47 million policyholders as of Sept. 30, barely up from last year's 11.44 million members. Its behavioral care coverage membership increased 10 percent to 19.9 million, and its dental membership rose 6 percent to 10.9 million. But its pharmacy membership decreased 2 percent to 6.4 million, the Courant notes.

Humana, however, fared better in the third quarter as its net income increased 13 percent and revenue climbed 11 percent to $9.3 billion. The insurer earned $444.7 million, compared with $393.2 million in the same quarter last year, reports the Associated Press.

Individual Medicare Advantage membership rose 10 percent, primarily because of a successful enrollment season last fall. Its Medicare prescription drug coverage enrollment also jumped 47 percent to 2.5 million people, largely because of a low-cost drug plan it offered with Wal-Mart stores.

Despite the membership gains in Medicare Advantage plans, Humana's overall enrollment dropped 9 percent to 11 million people, reports LifeHealthPro. Fully-insured employer group enrollment fell 6.1 percent to 1.2 million and revenue consequently fell to $1.2 billion. The decline in enrollment "primarily reflected the company's continued dedication to pricing discipline in a highly competitive environment for large group business partially offset by small group business membership gains," Humana said.

The insurer also reported a medical-loss ratio of 83.5 percent for commercial group plans, up from 82 percent last year, LifeHealthPro notes.

To learn more:
- read the Associated Press articles on Cigna and Humana
- check out the Hartford Courant article
- see the LifeHealthPro article

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