October 30, 2018

Aetna's 3Q profits up 19% as CVS deal nears completion

HBJ File Photo
HBJ File Photo
Aetna's Hartford headquarters.

Hartford health insurer Aetna on Tuesday said its third quarter profits jumped 19 percent due to lower taxes and gains made from selling several business segments in 2017.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, Aetna netted $1 billion, or $3.03 a diluted share, up 19 percent from the $838 million, or $2.52 a diluted share, recorded the third quarter last year.

Total revenues rose 3 percent to $15.5 billion, the insurer said.

Aetna said it also recorded profits during the quarter from selling its domestic group life insurance, group disability insurance and absence management businesses during the fourth quarter in 2017.

The insurer said benefits costs, or what it pays to cover customers' medical bills, slightly dropped less than a percent to $10.8 billion.

Aetna has posted net profits over the past six quarters, last reporting a net loss in the first quarter of 2017.

During the quarter, Aetna moved closer to being acquired by CVS Health in a proposed $69 billion deal.

CVS and Aetna received approval from both the Connecticut Insurance Department and the U.S. Justice Department, contingent on Aetna divesting its standalone Medicare drug plan.

The insurer is still seeking approval from several state regulatory bodies, but may experience pushback from at least New York, whose regulators said they may block certain parts of the deal.

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