Q2: Big 5 insurers report better-than-expected earnings

The biggest for-profit health insurers continue to benefit from a low utilization trend among consumers, as most reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings.

The weak economy keeps consumers from seeing their doctors and avoiding hospitalizations, yet more people are signing up for health plans through the health insurance exchanges, Reuters reports.

Here's a sampling of the major insurers' second-quarter earnings reports:

  • Aetna reported that its net income increased 33 percent to $731.8 million, while its operating revenue grew 4 percent to $15.13 billion.
  • Humana said its net income grew 25 percent to $431 million from $344 million a year earlier. The insurer also reported a $13.73 billion revenue, which was lower than analysts estimated. And its premiums rose 14 percent to $1.32 billion, the insurer said in its earnings report.
  • Cigna said its net profit increased to $588 million, up from $573 million. The insurer's revenue grew by about 9 percent to $9.49 billion, and its premiums and fees from commercial and government business rose by 10 percent.
  • Anthem saw its net income grow to $859.1 million, an increase of almost 18 percent from the same quarter last year. The insurer's revenue increased by about 26 percent to $10.4 billion, comprising more than 52 percent of Anthem's total operating revenue, according to its earnings report.

UnitedHealth also posted second-quarter earnings, reporting that its revenues grew by 11 percent to more than $36 billion, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

To learn more:
- here's the Reuters article
- read Aetna's earnings report
- see the Humana report
- read Cigna's report
- check out the Anthem earning report