Revenue is up slightly, but claims are down at the health insurer Aetna, meaning that the company posted a sharply higher quarterly profit.
Because of the low use of health services by members, in connection with the weak economy, “Aetna spent 80.7 percent of its premium revenue on medical claims in the quarter, well below the 83 percent it spent a year earlier,” according to a Fox Business News story.
Aetna’s fourth-quarter net income rose to $372.6 million, or $1.02 per share, from $215.6 million, or 53 cents per share, a year earlier.
The question of spending in connection with the sagging economy has been much in the news lately.
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded ClearHealthCosts.
She was previously a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia University School of Journalism. ClearHealthCosts has won grants from the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York; the International Women’s Media Foundation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with KQED public radio in San Francisco and KPCC in Los Angeles; the Lenfest Foundation in Philadelphia for a partnership with The Philadelphia Inquirer; and the New York State Health Foundation for a partnership with WNYC public radio/Gothamist in New York; and other honors.
Her TED talk about fixing health costs has surpassed 2 million views.