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Anthem Continues to See Membership Growth, Operating Revenue Hits $32.1B

Analysis  |  By Jack O'Brien and Melanie Blackman  
   April 21, 2021

The Indianapolis-based insurer reported medical enrollment totaling 43.5 million members at the end of Q1, up 3.3% from the previous quarter.

Anthem Inc. reported an operating income of $32.1 billion for Q1 2021, boosted by continued growth in membership, according to the company's latest earnings report released Wednesday morning.

IngenioRX, the insurer's PBM, produced an operating revenue of $407 million during Q1, up 16.6% from $349 million year-over-year.

While the Commercial & Specialty business saw its quarterly operating revenues drop $152 million, Anthem's Government business saw revenues increase 16.3% year-over-year.

Related: Thanks to Medicaid, Medicare Growth, Anthem Operating Revenue Hits $31.5B

The Indianapolis-based insurer recorded an operating cash flow of $2.5 billion during Q1, due to "changes in working capital, membership growth in Government business, and higher net income, offset by the repeal of the health insurance tax in 2021."

For its outlook, Anthem projected a full-year operating revenue of $135.1 billion, medical membership in the range of 44.1 million to 44.7 million members, and an operating cash flow exceeding $5.7 billion.

Anthem released its earnings report less than a week after the company announced the launch of Hydrogen Health, LLC, a joint venture with K Health and Blackstone Growth.

Related: Anthem Teams up with K Health and Blackstone Growth for Digital-First Health Tech JV

Anthem also projected its full-year GAAP net income will be greater than $25.10 per share, excluding approximately $1.05 per share of net unfavorable items. Its investment income is expected to be $820 million.

C-suite perspective:

"Our results in the first quarter reflect strong execution and a continued focus on supporting our communities through the pandemic," Gail Boudreaux, CEO of Anthem, said in a statement. "We expect the positive momentum in the first quarter to persist through the balance of the year, driven by our commitment to delivering affordable healthcare and innovative solutions for those we serve."

One of the most notable moves made by Anthem came at the end of Q1, when the company announced its intention to buy myNEXUS, which manages home health benefits for payors.

Related: Anthem to Buy myNEXUS

Arielle Trzcinski, principal analyst at Forrester, said in an email to HealthLeaders that the myNEXUS acquisition is a "necessary addition to the portfolio to meet the evolving needs of members and to be able to compete with legacy insurers and disruptors alike."

"This acquisition is needed to continue to compete with other large insurers such as Humana who have long partnered with and invested in companies like Heal and Dispatch who meet consumers in their homes to address immediate care needs, along with the looming threat of Amazon Care as an attractive alternative for employers to offer convenient care options for their employees," Trzcinski said. "Health insurers must be member-centric, which means they must meet the member where they are and bring care to them – not make them go to the care. Doing so will drive appropriate utilizations and improve outcomes."  

During Q1, the company repurchased 1.4 million shares of common stock for $447 million, at a weighted average price of $316.06.

On Tuesday, Anthem's audit committee declared a Q2 2021 dividend of $1.13 per share, annualized to $4.52 per share, which will be payable on June 25.

Related: Anthem to Provide All Employees With $50 Incentive to be Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19

For complete financial information, review Anthem's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include commentary from Arielle Trzcinski, principal analyst at Forrester.

Photo credit: EAGAN, MN/USA - APRIL 28, 2018: Anthem healthcare facility and sign. Anthem, Inc. is an American health insurance company. / Editorial credit: Ken Wolter /

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