Centene’s membership grew by more than 1.3 million in the second quarter compared to a year ago thanks to a big increase in enrollment in its Medicaid plans during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Centene’s revenue was up 12% to $31 million in the second quarter ended June 30 compared to $27.7 billion in the year-ago period, largely due to the growth of Medicaid enrollment, the company reported Tuesday. Centene reported a loss of more than $530 million in the quarter compared to a $1.2 billion profit a year ago.
Still, the company met Wall Street’s earnings expectations and maintained its 2021 guidance as membership rises across its diversified portfolio of Medicaid plans for poor and low-income Americans, Medicare Advantage plans for seniors and Obamacare policies to individuals sold under the Affordable Care Act.
Centene’s total membership at the end of the second quarter was 25.4 million, an increase 3% or 800,000 members, compared to June 30, 2020.
“Our scale and diversification provide a solid foundation to execute through this environment as we focus on implementing various initiatives to deliver on our stated margin goals,” Centene chairman and chief executive Michael Neidorff said.
The health insurer, which is one of the nation’s largest providers of government subsidized health benefits, has seen an uptick in members as it adds more state Medicaid contracts providing coverage for poor Americans. In addition, Centene has seen more people sign up for Medicaid after losing their jobs in the last year due to poor economic times during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the second quarter, Medicaid enrollment grew to 14 million compared to 12.6 million in the year-ago period. That helped Medicaid revenue grow by 12% to $20.8 billion in the quarter.
Enrollment in Medicaid generally has surged during the pandemic, according to a report last month from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which showed a “record high, over 80 million individuals have health coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.” Such growth has benefited health insurers like Centene that administer Medicaid via contracts with states across the country.