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Humana Commercial Membership Down – Profits up 44% With Medicare Advantage Adding to the Bottom Line

Posted Feb 01 2010 7:06pm

The area growing is the government subsidized business with Medicare.  One item to note is the comment from the CEO about the commercial side, stepping back and reorganizing?  Is this like what competitor Aetna was doing with dumping 600,000 insured? 

James E. Murray, Humana’s chief operating officer, said during a conference call that the company was “stepping back and reorganizing our commercial business.”

I posted this back in October, and now I need to correct myself as even these folks are figuring ways without using people to make money, well let’s correct this to imagesay insurance companies, I think if you look at hospitals, outside of those like HCA that are doing it on investments and not on pure business operations, this might still hold true.

This is what needs to be fixed, we need an economy that needs people and not fully structured on business algorithms for sheer profit.  The more articles like this that I post, the less meaning they seem to have as they all come back to profits and squeezing out care for dollars.  The algorithmic formulas will continue to run and further profits will be cut in areas where they did not exist before. 

We have a huge imbalance here today and need to think about some of these paradigms as they will come around and start biting folks in the behind.  If left unattended, the health insurance crash will happen exactly like Wall Street as the folks making the decisions and programming the computers know what they are doing and even how to orchestrate a crash and how to recover with relying on the government when a huge number of lives and lively-hoods are put in jeopardy with finding the algorithmic trump card.  BD 

Maybe The Real Problem With The Economy Is That It Doesn't Need Us

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The health insurer Humana posted a 44 percent increase in fourth-quarter profit on Monday as membership in its government-sponsored Medicare Advantage business offset a slumping commercial segment that was dragged down by the sluggish economy.

“We’re identifying geographies and products that make the most sense for us in parts of the United States,” he said, “and that’s how we’re going to go to market going forward.”

Humana’s Medicare Advantage membership exceeded 1.5 million at year-end, up 5 percent from 2008. Medicare Advantage plans are government-sponsored, privately run programs for the elderly that offer comprehensive health coverage. Medicare Advantage premiums rose 12 percent, to $4.07 billion, in the fourth quarter.

Medical membership in its commercial segment totaled just over 3.4 million as of Dec. 31, down 6 percent from the end of 2008. Humana attributed much of the decline to the recession and higher unemployment, which hurt its employer-sponsored health coverage plans.

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