Elevance Health (formerly known as Anthem) reported strong profits of $1.6 billion for the third quarter of 2022, an increase of 7.2% over the prior year quarter. Elevance Health’s operating revenues were also sharply up, growing 11.5% over the prior year quarter to $39.9 billion. Both Elevance Health’s third quarter profits and revenues beat analysts’ expectations.
In addition, Elevance Health reported strong membership growth, which increased by 2.2 million members or 4.9% year-over-year, to 47.3 million members. Membership in Medicare Advantage and Medicaid plans led this growth in members. In its investor call, Elevance Health announced that it had expanded its Medicare Advantage offerings to 145 new counties and added PPO plans in 210 counties.
Elevance Health also reported 4.7% growth in its Blue Card membership business compared with the third quarter 2021. Blue Card membership represents members from areas outside of its licensed Blue Cross and Blue Shield territories.
Based on these stronger than expected third quarter results, Elevance Health increased it earnings expectations for 2022, now projecting full-year adjusted net income to be at least $28.95 per share.
Elevance Health’s third quarter 2022 earnings report also showed its benefit expense ratio was 87.2%, a decrease of 50 basis points year over year. An insurer’s benefit expense ratio represents the insurer’s spending on claims compared with its earnings from premiums. Elevance Health’s lower benefit expense ratio means that it paid a lower percentage to providers for medical costs than in the prior year quarter. These reduced payments to providers fueled Anthem’s stronger than expected third quarter profits.
Elevance Health 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. Elevance Health is the largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee, operating Blues plans in fourteen states.
Elevance Health’s strong third quarter profits followed a highly profitable 2022 and highly profitable first and second quarters in 2022.
Anthem’s press release announcing its third quarter earnings results is linked here.