For Centene Corp. and Anthem, Inc., otherwise solid second-quarter earnings results were overshadowed by analysts’ concerns about elevated medical loss ratio (MLR) trends — which the insurers’ top executives did their best to dispel. When Centene reported its earnings on July 23, it recorded an MLR of 86.7% for the quarter, which came in higher than the Street’s consensus of 86.3%, Citi analyst Ralph Giacobbe advised investors in a July 23 note. “Interestingly, the company attributed the higher MLR in part to normalizing margins on the HIX [health insurance exchange],” Giacobbe added.
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