Anthem, Inc. reported strong profits of $1.1 billion for the fourth quarter of 2021, which more than doubled its $551 million in profits for the fourth quarter of 2020 and beating analysts’ expectations. Anthem’s profits for the full year of 2021 were $6.1 billion, up from $4.6 billion in 2020. Anthem’s operating revenues were also sharply up, growing 14.2% over the prior year quarter to $36 billion.
Anthem also reported strong membership growth in the fourth quarter. It had 45.5 million members in the fourth quarter of 2021, an increase of 2.4 million from the fourth quarter of 2020. Anthem attributed that growth to increased membership in its Medicaid and Medicare Advantage products.
During the fourth quarter 2021, Anthem paid a quarterly dividend of $1.13 per share and it has announced that it will pay a dividend of $1.28 per share for the first quarter of 2022, an increase of over 13% from the fourth quarter 2021 dividend payment. On an annualized basis, the new quarterly dividend equates to $5.12 a share.
Anthem is one of the nation’s largest health insurers, providing health benefits to one in eight Americans through a number of subsidiary and affiliated companies. Anthem is the largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee, operating Blues plans in fourteen states. In the fourth quarter, Anthem reported a 2% growth in BlueCard membership business compared with 2020, which represents members from areas outside of its licensed territories.
In the press release announcing its fourth quarter earnings, Anthem’s President and CEO Gail K. Boudreaux stated: “2021 was another year of strong growth for Anthem…We begin 2022 with ongoing momentum across all our business, and we’re confident in our ability to deliver earnings growth consistent with our long-term targeted range as we innovate for consumers and advance our digital platform for health.”
Anthem’s press release announcing its fourth quarter earnings results is linked here.