Humana Receives 202,000 Obamacare Enrollment Applications

Humana Inc. (HUM) said it has received 202,000 applications for health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges and reaffirmed its 2014 forecast citing better-than-expected Medicare membership growth.

The applicants cover the period from Oct. 1 through Jan. 31, Humana said in a statement today. Last week, WellPoint Inc. (WLP), the most active insurer in the exchanges, said it had added 500,000 members.

The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is expected to cover 6 million people through the exchanges this year, according to a Congressional Budget Office report yesterday. Humana last month said it expected many of the new customers it gains under the law will be sicker and costlier than previously anticipated, after the U.S. decision to let healthier people keep their existing plans.

“Continued growth in 2015 and beyond will be driven by the degree of headwinds presented by public policy surrounding government programs,” Chief Executive Officer Bruce Broussard said in the statement.

Humana reaffirmed its 2014 earnings forecast of $7.25 to $7.75 a share. The shares of the insurer rose 1.2 percent to $97.47 yesterday, after gaining 21 percent in the past 12 months.

To contact the reporter on this story: Caroline Chen in New York at cchen509@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net

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