1st Quarter 2021 Highlights:
- Operating Revenue: Operating revenue was $32.1 billion in the first quarter of 2021, an increase of $2.7 billion, or 9.0 percent, versus the prior year quarter and 10.7 percent after adjusting for the health insurance tax. The increase was driven by higher premium revenue due to growth in Medicaid and Medicare. The increase was further attributable to pharmacy product revenue related to IngenioRx partially offset by the impact of lower premium revenue due to the repeal of the health insurance tax in 2021.
- Benefit Expense Ratio: The benefit expense ratio was 85.6 percent in the first quarter of 2021, an increase of 140 basis points versus the prior year quarter and a decrease of 10 basis points after adjusting for the health insurance tax. The increase was driven by costs associated with COVID-19, including testing and vaccine administration, and to a lesser extent, the repeal of the health insurance tax in 2021. These increases were partially offset by reduced non-COVID healthcare utilization and the impact of one less calendar day compared to the first quarter of 2020.
- Membership: Medical enrollment totaled approximately 43.5 million members at March 31, 2021, an increase of 1.4 million lives, or 3.3 percent from the prior year quarter. Government Business enrollment increased by 1.8 million lives compared to the prior year quarter, attributable to Medicaid, reflecting organic growth, aided by the temporary suspension of eligibility recertification efforts in our markets, and growth in Medicare Advantage. Commercial & Specialty Business enrollment decreased by 411 thousand lives compared to the prior year quarter primarily attributable to higher in-group change in the group fee-based business as a result of the economic environment, partially offset by growth in Individual.
Medicare Supplement lives in the 1st quarter decreased compared to end of the 4th quarter 2020 and increased 16,000 compared to the prior year 1st quarter.
Medicare Advantage membership of 1,538,000, a 110,000 increase compared to the end of the 4th quarter 2020 and an increase of 197,000 compared to 1st quarter 2020.