Aetna dental membership declines

Aetnas dental membership declined over the past year from 14.6 million on June 30, 2009, to 13.9 million on June 30, 2010, the company announced in its July 27 earnings statement.

The drop was sharpest among commercial members, which went from 12.8 million to 12.3 million, but Medicare, Medicaid, and network access membership both declined as well.

While not offering an explanation for the change in dental membership, the company attributed a similar decrease in medical membership to "economic-related attrition," a trend it expects to continue.

Despite losing members, the company boosted earnings. It made $450.2 million in the second quarter of 2010, up 54% over the same quarter in 2009. It attributed the increase partly to lower utilization of medical services.

Copyright © 2010

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