Anthem says nearly 10M using its digital platforms amid COVID-19

Anthem now has nearly 10 million people using its digital platforms, executives told investors on Wednesday.

The insurer hosted its quarterly earnings call Wednesday, and CEO Gail Boudreaux said a prime example of the growth in its digital tools is at Anthem Concierge Care. This platform offers a centralized suite of tools to connect a member with chronic or complex conditions to their entire care team.

Boudreaux said the platform is now available to just under 1 million members, with the goal of tripling enrollment in Anthem Concierge Care over the next several years.

"Our deep roots in our communities and our partnership with local care providers enable us to scale these initiatives in real time," she said.

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Another key area of growth? The insurer's government business. Membership overall was up in the first quarter compared to the first quarter of 2020, but the largest gains were in Medicare and Medicaid.

Membership reached 43.5 million members as of March 31, an increase of 1.4 million from the first quarter of 2020, Anthem said. Government business enrollment was up by 1.8 million.

Boudreaux said Medicare Advantage enrollment was up 50% year over year in the first quarter.

Anthem brought in $1.7 billion in profit for the first quarter of 2021, beating Wall Street analysts' projections.

Profits were up 9.3% from the first quarter of 2020, according to the insurer's financial release, when the company brought in $1.5 billion.

Revenues were $32.4 billion for the quarter, which fell short of expectations from Zacks Investment Research. Revenue was also up 9.3% year over year, Anthem said, from $29.6 billion in the first quarter of 2020.

"Our results in the first quarter reflect strong execution and a continued focus on supporting our communities through the pandemic," Boudreaux said in a statement. "We expect the positive momentum in the first quarter to persist through the balance of the year, driven by our commitment to delivering affordable healthcare and innovative solutions for those we serve."

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"At Anthem, we are modernizing our business while transforming into a digitally-enabled platform for health. Our solid performance demonstrates the value we bring to the market and I am confident that we are well-positioned to capitalize on future opportunities for growth," Boudreaux said.

As Anthem continues to shift members to its IngenioRx pharmacy benefit manager, gain at the business segment is on the rise, according to the financial report. Operating gain at IngenioRx reached $407 million in the first quarter of 2021, up 16.6% from the first quarter of 2020.

Due to the results, Anthem raised its outlook for the year and now expects earnings of more than $25.10 per share and revenues of $135.1 billion.