Health Insurance

Aetna tops Street 3Q expectations, narrows 2016 forecast

Aetna's third-quarter earnings rose nearly 8 percent to top Wall Street forecasts, as growing government business and cost cutting countered higher costs from the health insurer's Affordable Care Act coverage.

But the nation's third-largest insurer narrowed its 2016 forecast just below analyst expectations heading into the year's final months, and its stock fell in morning trading.

Aetna's enrollment in government programs like Medicaid and Medicare grew 11 percent, to nearly 4.5 million people, and the insurer said Thursday that segment now contributes about half of its total health care premiums.

Enrollment in the insurer's much larger commercial business fell...