Health insurer Aetna Inc. said Thursday its first-quarter earnings rose 4 percent, even though revenue fell partially because of declining enrollment.
The Hartford, Conn., managed care company beat analyst expectations with its performance and raised its earnings forecast for 2011.
But total medical membership fell 5 percent to 17.8 million compared to the first quarter of last year. Aetna officials said they lost some fully insured business _ which involves the insurer providing coverage and paying claims, mostly for individual and small-employer group coverage _ to competitors that offered deeper discounts.
Aetna also has been suspended since last spring from enrolling new members in its Medicare Advantage plans, which are privately run versions of the government's Medicare program that covers the elderly and disabled. The sanction stems from changes the insurer made in drugs covered by certain plans.
Here's a breakdown of Aetna's enrollment changes.
_ Commercial insurance, down 6 percent to 16.2 million.
_ Medicare, down 10 percent to 407,000
_ Medicaid, up 14 percent to 1.2 million.