Anthem, Indianapolis, saw its third-quarter profits jump 23% thanks to enrollment gains and lower medical costs. The insurer reported net income of $242.1 million, or $1.70 per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30, up from $196.5 million, or $1.38 per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 13% to $4.8 billion, and enrollment climbed 8% to 12.7 million members. The company raised its full-year, per-share earnings forecast to between $7.05 and $7.10, up from its previous guidance of $6.95 to $7.05 per share. In a conference calls with analysts, Anthem Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Glasscock said the company still intended to complete its proposed $16.4 billion merger with WellPoint Health Networks, which has been partially blocked by California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi. Earlier this week, WellPoint posted a 28% rise in third-quarter net income, to $315.1 million, or $1.97 per share, on $5.85 billion revenue.
Anthem also confirmed it received a subpoena from Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal as part of an expanding investigation into alleged fraud and kickbacks within the insurance and brokerage industries. The subpoena, which requests information about Anthem's payments to brokers, is one of 35 issued to various companies by Blumenthal over the past two weeks. Glasscock said that an internal Anthem review found no wrongdoing. New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer this month sued brokerage giant Marsh & McLennan Cos. for allegedly steering clients to insurers that paid the largest fees, and Aetna and Cigna received subpoenas as part of Spitzer's investigation into the alleged practice. -- by Laura B. Benko