According the the health insurer, the slip was caused by more expensive claims during this year's flu season and high costs for new and existing Medicare customers.
The Associated Press/New York Times: A Bad Flu Season Lowers Humana's Profits
The health insurer Humana reported a 3.5 percent drop in its fourth-quarter net income on Monday as it absorbed higher claims payments driven by the flu outbreak, which offset continued growth in its lucrative Medicare Advantage membership (2/4).
The Wall Street Journal: Humana's Profit Slips On Higher Coverage
Humana's profits have declined in recent quarters partly due to high costs for both new and existing customers on Medicare plans. The company -- which is one of the biggest providers of privately run Medicare Advantage health plans for seniors in the U.S. -- has been buying stakes in doctor practices in an effort to push further into providing health services, and not just paying for them (Warner, 2/4).