Richard Drew / AP

Humana's stock jumped 4.5% Wednesday after the health insurance company more than doubled its second-quarter earnings to $650 million. Profit in the first half of the year was almost $1.8 billion, thanks in part to the termination fee Humana received from Aetna following their failed merger. Humana's market cap is now around $35 billion, which would make it harder for a competing insurer to buy it.

The bottom line: Humana's profit is growing like gangbusters because its primary health plan business, Medicare Advantage, coincides with the rapid aging of the country's baby boomers. Humana has almost 3.3 million people in one of its Medicare Advantage plans and another 5.2 million in its Medicare prescription drug plans.

Worth noting: Humana is ditching the Affordable Care Act's individual exchanges, but the company collected a $118 million profit from ACA plans in the second quarter.

Go deeper

15 mins ago - Podcasts

House antitrust chair talks USA vs. Google

The Justice Department filed a 63-page antitrust lawsuit against Google related to the tech giant's search and advertising business. This comes just weeks after the House subcommittee on antitrust issued its own scathing report on Google and other Big Tech companies, arguing they've become digital monopolies.

Axios Re:Cap talks with Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), chair of the subcommittee on antitrust, about Google, the DOJ's lawsuit and Congress' next move.

28 mins ago - Economy & Business

Boeing research shows disinfectants kill coronavirus on airplanes

Electrostatic spraying of disinfectant. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Boeing and researchers at the University of Arizona say their experiment with a live virus on an unoccupied airplane proves that the cleaning methods currently used by airlines are effective in destroying the virus that causes COVID-19.

Why it matters: Deep cleaning aircraft between flights is one of many tactics the airline industry is using to try to restore public confidence in flying during the pandemic. The researchers say their study proves there is virtually no risk of transmission from touching objects including armrests, tray tables, overhead bins or lavatory handles on a plane.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election.
  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: Studies show drop in COVID death rate — The next wave is gaining steam — The overwhelming aftershocks of the pandemic.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — San Francisco public schools likely won't reopen before the end of the year.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!