Investment losses hit WellPoints first-quarter profits, as it projected further membership declines in the sagging economy.
Indianapolis-based WellPoint lost $228.4 million in investments in the first quarter ended March 31 compared with a $45.6 million loss a year ago. As a result, profits fell by 1.3% to $580 million.
WellPoint shed 814,000 medical members year-over-year, mostly in local businesses, individual, Medicare and Medicaid plans. The insurer added about 400,000 medical members in its large national accounts, however, an increase of 3.6%.
WellPoint is the nations largest insurer by membership with 34.6 million members, but the company projects enrollment to slide to about 33.9 million members by year-end. Operating revenue was $15.3 billion in the first quarter, a dip of 0.4% over the same quarter last year.
While our membership levels have been impacted by employer workforce reductions, we continue to take action to make our products more attractive and create more value for our customers, said Angela Braly, president and CEO of WellPoint, during an investor call.