How Aetna, Anthem, Cigna, Humana and UnitedHealth fared in Q4

Five of America's largest commercial payers — Aetna, Anthem, Humana, Cigna and UnitedHealth Group — reported profitable fourth quarters to end fiscal year 2017.

Here is how the "big five" fared.

1. Aetna saw revenue fall 5.6 percent year over year to $14.9 billion. Still, Aetna posted net income of $244 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2017, by cutting expenses. That's up from $139 million recorded in the same period the year prior.

2. In the fourth quarter of 2017, Anthem grew its revenue by 4.4 percent year over year to $22.7 billion. The insurer recorded net income of $1.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017 after a one-time tax gain, compared to $368.4 million in the same period a year prior.

3. Cigna grew revenue by 5.9 percent to $10.5 billion in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31. That's compared to $9.9 billion recorded in the same period a year prior. However, Cigna saw profits dip 30.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 to $266 million as expenses rose, compared to $382 million reported in the same period a year prior.

4. Humana's fourth quarter revenue rose 2.4 percent to $13.2 billion, compared to $12.9 billion recorded during the same period a year prior. The insurer ended the fourth quarter of 2017 with $184 million in net income, turning around a $401 million net loss reported in the fourth quarter of 2016.

5. UnitedHealth Group posted revenue of $52.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. That's up 9.7 percent from $47.5 billion in revenue reported in the same quarter a year prior. The nation's largest health insurer reported net earnings attributable to UnitedHealth of $3.6 billion in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 after a one-time tax gain, compared to $1.7 billion during the same period a year prior.

More articles on payer issues:
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