Anthem's profit climbs 43.7% in Q1 as its ACA exchange presence remains unclear

Indianapolis-based Anthem reported a 43.7 percent increase in net income to $1.01 billion in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year.

However, during an earnings call with investors Wednesday, Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish said the insurer is "assessing our market footprint in 2018" and anticipates "to provide additional clarity on our 2018 market footprint during our second-quarter earnings call, if not sooner," according to Bloomberg. The payer currently serves 1.1 million policyholders through the ACA exchanges. 

Anthem added its premiums could increase 20 percent or more if the ACA's cost-sharing reductions are eliminated.

Despite uncertainty in the individual market, Anthem saw its operating revenue increase 9.9 percent to $22.3 billion in the first quarter of this year, up from $20.3 billion in 2016. The payer attributed the uptick to premium rate increases and higher enrollment in its Medicaid, Medicare and group insured and self-funded businesses.

Anthem recorded medical enrollment of about 40.6 million as of March 31, reflecting an increase of 1 million members from the same time last year. Its Medicaid enrollment grew at 8.4 percent to 6.6 million. 

More articles on payer issues:
39% of health plans don't provide price transparency tool, survey says
Tufts Health Plan wins 5-year contract to manage Rhode Island's Medicaid program
KFF: Insurers' 2017 financial performance may 'significantly' improve on individual market

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