Company to Continue Refreshment Efforts with Appointment of Two New Independent Directors
Effort Part of Constructive Engagement with Large Shareholder, Starboard Value
Reiterates Long-Term Adjusted Earnings Growth Targets
Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) ("Humana" or the "Company") today announced a Board refreshment plan under which the Company will add two new independent directors to its Board of Directors as part of a cooperation agreement with Starboard Value LP (together with certain of its affiliates, “Starboard”).
As part of the refreshment plan, the Humana Board will appoint two new independent directors mutually agreed upon by the Company and Starboard, the first before Humana’s 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders (“Annual Meeting”) and the second following. In keeping with Humana’s active Board refreshment process, one incumbent director will not stand for re-election at the 2022 Annual Meeting and a second incumbent director will not stand for re-election at the 2023 Annual Meeting.
In connection with today’s announcement, Humana reiterated its goal of delivering long-term adjusted earnings per share growth of 11 to 15 percent, by growing individual Medicare Advantage market share while improving pre-tax margins, driving accelerated growth in its Healthcare Services businesses, reducing operating costs and optimizing capital deployment. The Company will accomplish this in part by achieving the previously announced $1 billion value creation target by 2023 while ensuring it maintains operational discipline and drives sustainable operating cost leverage long-term, and expects to improve individual Medicare Advantage pre-tax margins by at least 50 basis points in 2022.
"At Humana, we pride ourselves on our commitment to best-in-class corporate governance, board refreshment and active shareholder engagement and look forward to welcoming two new independent directors to our Board,” said Bruce D. Broussard, President and CEO of Humana. “With these anticipated appointments, we will have added seven new independent directors over the last three years, continuing our planned transition considering the Company’s historical experience and necessary skills and capabilities to affect our strategy going forward. This is an important time for our company as we focus on delivering growth in Medicare Advantage and our Healthcare Services businesses. We have enjoyed the constructive relationship with Starboard and look forward to benefitting from the valuable insights and fresh perspectives that these new additions to the Board will bring. We will prioritize adding individuals who can complement our Board’s diverse mix of skills and experiences and help us continue to drive growth and deliver long-term shareholder value.”
Jeff Smith, CEO of Starboard commented, "We believe Humana is well positioned to continue delivering Medicare Advantage market share gains, improved profitability, and earnings growth as it executes on its strategies, captures the significant opportunities ahead and enhances value for shareholders. We appreciate the constructive dialogue we have had with Humana and are pleased to reach this agreement for the benefit of all shareholders. We look forward to working with the Board to identify two exemplary directors who will further enhance our common goal of significantly increasing shareholder value."
The full agreement between Starboard and Humana will be filed on a Form 8-K with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC").
Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) is committed to helping our millions of medical and specialty members achieve their best health. Our successful history in care delivery and health plan administration is helping us create a new kind of integrated care with the power to improve health and well-being and lower costs. Our efforts are leading to a better quality of life for people with Medicare, families, individuals, military service personnel, and communities at large.
To accomplish that, we support physicians and other health care professionals as they work to deliver the right care in the right place for their patients, our members. Our range of clinical capabilities, resources and tools – such as in-home care, behavioral health, pharmacy services, data analytics and wellness solutions – combine to produce a simplified experience that makes health care easier to navigate and more effective.
More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the Company’s website at humana.com, including copies of:
- Annual reports to stockholders
- Securities and Exchange Commission filings
- Most recent investor conference presentations
- Quarterly earnings news releases and conference calls
- Calendar of events
- Corporate Governance information
About Starboard Value LP
Starboard Value LP is a New York-based investment adviser with a focused and differentiated fundamental approach to investing primarily in publicly traded U.S. companies. Starboard seeks to invest in deeply undervalued companies and actively engage with management teams and boards of directors to identify and execute on opportunities to unlock value for the benefit of all shareholders.
This news release includes forward-looking statements regarding Humana within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in investor presentations, press releases, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, and in oral statements made by or with the approval of one of Humana’s executive officers, the words or phrases like “expects,” “believes,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “likely will result,” “estimates,” “projects” or variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, and assumptions, including, among other things, information set forth in the “Risk Factors” section of the company’s SEC filings, a summary of which includes but is not limited to the following:
- If Humana does not design and price its products properly and competitively, if the premiums Humana receives are insufficient to cover the cost of healthcare services delivered to its members, if the company is unable to implement clinical initiatives to provide a better healthcare experience for its members, lower costs and appropriately document the risk profile of its members, or if its estimates of benefits expense are inadequate, Humana’s profitability could be materially adversely affected. Humana estimates the costs of its benefit expense payments, and designs and prices its products accordingly, using actuarial methods and assumptions based upon, among other relevant factors, claim payment patterns, medical cost inflation, and historical developments such as claim inventory levels and claim receipt patterns. The company continually reviews estimates of future payments relating to benefit expenses for services incurred in the current and prior periods and makes necessary adjustments to its reserves, including premium deficiency reserves, where appropriate. These estimates involve extensive judgment, and have considerable inherent variability because they are extremely sensitive to changes in claim payment patterns and medical cost trends. Accordingly, Humana's reserves may be insufficient.
- If Humana fails to effectively implement its operational and strategic initiatives, particularly its Medicare initiatives and state-based contract strategy, the company’s business may be materially adversely affected, which is of particular importance given the concentration of the company’s revenues in these products. In addition, there can be no assurances that the company will be successful in maintaining or improving its Star ratings in future years.
- If Humana fails to properly maintain the integrity of its data, to strategically maintain existing or implement new information systems, to protect Humana’s proprietary rights to its systems, or to defend against cyber-security attacks or prevent other privacy or data security incidents that result in security breaches that disrupt our operations or in the unintentional dissemination of sensitive personal information or proprietary or confidential information, the company’s business may be materially adversely affected.
- Humana is involved in various legal actions, or disputes that could lead to legal actions (such as, among other things, provider contract disputes and qui tam litigation brought by individuals on behalf of the government), governmental and internal investigations, and routine internal review of business processes any of which, if resolved unfavorably to the company, could result in substantial monetary damages or changes in its business practices. Increased litigation and negative publicity could also increase the company’s cost of doing business.
- As a government contractor, Humana is exposed to risks that may materially adversely affect its business or its willingness or ability to participate in government healthcare programs including, among other things, loss of material government contracts; governmental audits and investigations; potential inadequacy of government determined payment rates; potential restrictions on profitability; including by comparison of profitability of the company’s Medicare Advantage business to non-Medicare Advantage business; or other changes in the governmental programs in which Humana participates. Changes to the risk-adjustment model utilized by CMS to adjust premiums paid to Medicare Advantage, or MA, plans according to the health status of covered members, including proposed changes to the methodology used by CMS for risk adjustment data validation audits that fail to address adequately the statutory requirement of actuarial equivalence, if implemented, could have a material adverse effect on our operating results, financial position and cash flows.
- Humana's business activities are subject to substantial government regulation. New laws or regulations, or legislative, judicial, or regulatory changes in existing laws or regulations or their manner of application could increase the company's cost of doing business and have a material adverse effect on Humana’s results of operations (including restricting revenue, enrollment and premium growth in certain products and market segments, restricting the company’s ability to expand into new markets, increasing the company’s medical and operating costs by, among other things, requiring a minimum benefit ratio on insured products, lowering the company’s Medicare payment rates and increasing the company’s expenses associated with a non-deductible health insurance industry fee and other assessments); the company’s financial position (including the company’s ability to maintain the value of its goodwill); and the company’s cash flows.
- Humana’s failure to manage acquisitions, divestitures and other significant transactions successfully may have a material adverse effect on the company’s results of operations, financial position, and cash flows.
- If Humana fails to develop and maintain satisfactory relationships with the providers of care to its members, the company’s business may be adversely affected.
- Humana faces significant competition in attracting and retaining talented employees. Further, managing succession for, and retention of, key executives is critical to the Company’s success, and its failure to do so could adversely affect the Company’s businesses, operating results and/or future performance.
- Humana’s pharmacy business is highly competitive and subjects it to regulations and supply chain risks in addition to those the company faces with its core health benefits businesses.
- Changes in the prescription drug industry pricing benchmarks may adversely affect Humana’s financial performance.
- Humana’s ability to obtain funds from certain of its licensed subsidiaries is restricted by state insurance regulations.
- Downgrades in Humana’s debt ratings, should they occur, may adversely affect its business, results of operations, and financial condition.
- The securities and credit markets may experience volatility and disruption, which may adversely affect Humana’s business.
- The spread of, and response to, the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, underscores certain risks Humana faces, including those discussed above, and the ongoing, heightened uncertainty created by the pandemic precludes any prediction as to the ultimate adverse impact to Humana of COVID-19. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the premiums the company charges may prove to be insufficient to cover the cost of health care services delivered to its members, each of which could be impacted by many factors, including the impacts that Humana has experienced, and may continue to experience, to its revenues due to limitations on its ability to implement clinical initiatives to manage health care costs and chronic conditions of its members, and appropriately document their risk profiles, as a result of the company’s members being unable or unwilling to see their providers due to actions taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19; increased costs that may result from higher utilization rates of medical facilities and services and other increases in associated hospital and pharmaceutical costs; and shifts in the company’s premium and medical claims cost trends to reflect the demographic impact of higher mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Humana is offering, and has been mandated by legislative and regulatory action (including the Families First Act and CARES Act) to provide, certain expanded benefit coverage to its members, such as waiving, or reimbursing, certain costs for COVID-19 testing, vaccinations and treatment. These measures taken by Humana, or governmental action, to respond to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 (including further expansion or modification of the services delivered to its members, the adoption or modification of regulatory requirements associated with those services and the costs and challenges associated with ensuring timely compliance with such requirements), and the potential for widespread testing, treatments and the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines, could adversely impact the company’s profitability.
The spread and impact of COVID-19 and additional variants, or actions taken to mitigate this spread, could have material and adverse effects on Humana’s ability to operate effectively, including as a result of the complete or partial closure of facilities or labor shortages. Disruptions in public and private infrastructure, including communications, availability of in-person sales and marketing channels, financial services and supply chains, could materially and adversely disrupt the company’s normal business operations. A significant subset of the company's and the company's third party providers' employee population are in a remote work environment in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, which may exacerbate certain risks to Humana’s business, including an increased demand for information technology resources, increased risk of phishing and other cybersecurity attacks, and increased risk of unauthorized dissemination of sensitive personal, proprietary, or confidential information. The continued COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted global economic activity, including the businesses of some of Humana’s commercial customers, and caused significant volatility and negative pressure in the financial markets. In addition to disrupting Humana’s operations, these developments may adversely affect the timing of commercial customer premium collections and corresponding claim payments, the value of the company’s investment portfolio, or future liquidity needs.
The ongoing, heightened uncertainty created by the pandemic precludes any prediction as to the ultimate adverse impact to Humana of COVID-19. Humana is continuing to monitor the spread of COVID-19, changes to the company’s benefit coverages, and the ongoing costs and business impacts of dealing with COVID-19, including the potential costs and impacts associated with lifting or reimposing restrictions on movement and economic activity, the timing and degree in resumption of demand for deferred healthcare services, the pace of administration of COVID-19 vaccines and the effectiveness of those vaccines, and related risks. The magnitude and duration of the pandemic remain uncertain, and its impact on Humana’s business, results of operations, financial position, and cash flows could be material.
In making forward-looking statements, Humana is not undertaking to address or update them in future filings or communications regarding its business or results. In light of these risks, uncertainties, and assumptions, the forward-looking events discussed herein may or may not occur. There also may be other risks that the company is unable to predict at this time. Any of these risks and uncertainties may cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements.
Humana advises investors to read the following documents as filed by the company with the SEC for further discussion both of the risks it faces and its historical performance:
- Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021.
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