(Adds revenue, membership growth)
July 30 U.S. health insurer Humana Inc
said on Wednesday that second-quarter profit fell due to
investments in the exchanges created under President Barack
Obama's healthcare reform law as well as costly new hepatitis C
Humana said membership growth and a lower share count due to
stock buybacks had helped offset some of the new costs.
The company said net income fell to $344 million, or $2.19
per share, from $420 million, or $2.63 a share, a year earlier.
That was in line with analysts' estimates.
Most of Humana's revenue is from Medicare Advantage and
Medicare Part D, the privately run medical and drug plans under
the government health program for older people and the disabled.
Humana said revenue rose 18 percent to $12.2 billion. Both
Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D added new customers, and
the company's individual customer base increased 122 percent to
more than 1.1 million members.
The company's medical benefit expense ratio, or the
percentage of premiums spent on medical services, fell to 83.1
percent from 83.4 percent.
Higher ratios in the retail and employer group, due in part
to the expense of a new breakthrough drug for hepatitis C from
Gilead Sciences Inc, were offset overall by exiting the
Puerto Rico Medicaid business, Humana said.
(Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)