Humana exchange enrollees skew younger

Humana has received more than 200,000 membership applications through federal and state health insurance exchanges, many of which are from young consumers, CEO Bruce Broussard told investors while announcing the insurer's fourth-quarter earnings report.

In fact, 21-40 year olds represented 37 percent of Humana's new enrollees at the close of January, which is lower than the percentage of young adults in the general population. It's also an increase from the 35 percent of young adults who signed up for a Humana exchange plan by December, further supporting experts who believe younger consumers are waiting until the end of open enrollment period to sign up.

"While still early, as we analyze the demographics of our exchange membership, we are seeing enrollees skewing a bit more to the younger side," Broussard said in a call Wednesday with analysts and investors, reported Kaiser Health News.

The membership mix runs counter to a recent federal government report, where the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services said only 24 percent of all exchange enrollees are young adults.

What's more, Humana execs predict the percentage of young consumers will continue to grow during the remaining two months of the open enrollment period for exchanges, Forbes reported.

"This could potentially mitigate some of the adverse impact associated with the risk pool deterioration from our higher membership in non-ACA compliant plans," Broussard said, according to Reuters.

Humana reported a net loss of $30 million for the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to a year ago when the insurer had a net income of $192 million, according to the earnings report.

To learn more:
- here's the Humana earnings report
- read the Kaiser Health News article
- see the Forbes article
- check out the Reuters article