Health insurer Humana's profit falls 68% on higher medical costs

Health insurer spending on medical claims fell during the height of the pandemic

  
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, New York, U.S., July 21, 2021.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, New York, U.S., July 21, 2021.

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Humana Inc reported a 67.8% fall in second-quarter profit on Wednesday, pressured by higher medical costs as vaccinated Americans opted for elective medical care that had been put on hold due to the pandemic.

Health insurer spending on medical claims fell during the height of the pandemic as patients and hospitals put off non-urgent surgeries to soften the impact on the healthcare system.

Nearly half of all Americans have been fully vaccinated according to latest government data and daily new COVID-19 cases ebbed in May and June, encouraging people to return to doctors' offices for routine, non-elective medical care.

Humana's consolidated benefit ratio, the percentage of premiums spent on claims, worsened to 85.8% in the quarter from 76.4% last year. Analysts were expecting 86.32%, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

The company said it was maintaining its 2021 adjusted earnings per share view, while acknowledging the heightened uncertainty surrounding the ongoing pandemic.

The insurer's net income fell to $588 million, or $4.55 per share, in the quarter ended June 30, from $1.83 billion, or $13.75 per share, a year earlier.

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Shailesh Kuber) ((manojna.kalyani@thomsonreuters.com; +91 8061822700))


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