Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Principles of Consolidation
The accompanying consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally-accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) and include the accounts of Aetna and the subsidiaries that we control. All significant intercompany balances have been eliminated in consolidation. The Company has evaluated subsequent events from the balance sheet date through the date the financial statements were issued and determined there were no other items to disclose other than those disclosed in Note 21 beginning on page 140.
Certain reclassifications were made to 2011 and 2012 financial information to conform with 2013 presentation.
New Accounting Standards
Testing Intangibles for Impairment
Effective January 1, 2013, we adopted new accounting guidance for testing indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment. Under this guidance, an entity has the option first to assess qualitative factors to determine whether it is more likely than not that the fair value of an indefinite-lived intangible asset is less than its carrying value. If management determines that an indefinite-lived intangible asset's fair value is likely greater than its carrying value, then no additional analysis is necessary, as the indefinite-lived intangible asset is not impaired. The adoption of this new guidance did not have an impact on our financial position or operating results.
Future Application of Accounting Standards
Fees Paid to the Federal Government by Health Insurers
Effective January 1, 2014, we will adopt new accounting guidance relating to the recognition and income statement reporting of the mandated fee to be paid to the federal government by health insurers. This guidance applies to the new health insurer fee enacted in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively, “Health Care Reform”). This new accounting guidance results in the recognition of the expense associated with the fee on a straight-line basis beginning in 2014. The health insurer fee will be recorded within operating expenses, and we project that our expense for this fee in 2014 will range from $575 million to $625 million. This fee will not be tax deductible.
Amendments to the Scope, Measurement and Disclosure Requirements of Investment Companies
Effective January 1, 2014, we will adopt new accounting guidance relating to the approach for determining whether an entity is considered an investment company for accounting purposes. This guidance clarifies the characteristics and sets measurement and disclosure requirements for an investment company for accounting purposes. Early adoption of this guidance is permitted and is not expected to have an impact on our financial position or operating results.
Accounting for Investments in Qualified Affordable Housing Projects
Effective January 1, 2015, we will be permitted to make an accounting policy election whether to adopt new accounting guidance relating to the recognition of amortization of investments in qualified affordable housing projects. The guidance sets forth a new method of measurement, referred to as the proportional amortization method, under which income and expense items related to qualified affordable housing projects would be allocated to the income taxes line item. The adoption of this new guidance is not expected to have a material impact on our financial position or operating results.
Use of Estimates
The preparation of the accompanying consolidated financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires the use of estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in these consolidated financial statements and notes. We consider the following accounting estimates critical in the preparation of the accompanying consolidated financial statements: health care costs payable, other insurance liabilities, recoverability of goodwill and other acquired intangible assets, measurement of defined benefit pension and other postretirement benefit plans, other-than-temporary impairment of debt securities and revenue recognition, and allowance for estimated terminations and uncollectible accounts. We use information available to us at the time estimates are made; however, these estimates could change materially if different information or assumptions were used. Additionally, these estimates may not ultimately reflect the actual amounts of the final transactions that occur.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents include cash on-hand and debt securities with an original maturity of three months or less when purchased. The carrying value of cash equivalents approximates fair value due to the short-term maturity of these investments.
Debt and Equity Securities
Debt and equity securities consist primarily of U.S. Treasury and agency securities, mortgage-backed securities, corporate and foreign bonds and other debt and equity securities. Debt securities are classified as either current or long-term investments based on their contractual maturities unless we intend to sell an investment within the next twelve months, in which case it is classified as current on our balance sheets. We have classified our debt and equity securities as available for sale and carry them at fair value. Refer to Note 10 beginning on page 107 for additional information on how we estimate the fair value of these investments. The cost for mortgage-backed and other asset-backed securities is adjusted for unamortized premiums and discounts, which are amortized using the interest method over the estimated remaining term of the securities, adjusted for anticipated prepayments. We regularly review our debt and equity securities to determine whether a decline in fair value below the carrying value is other-than-temporary. When a debt or equity security is in an unrealized capital loss position, we monitor the duration and severity of the loss to determine if sufficient market recovery can occur within a reasonable period of time. If a decline in the fair value of a debt security is considered other-than-temporary, the cost basis or carrying value of the debt security is written down. The write-down is then bifurcated into its credit and non-credit related components. The amount of the credit-related component is included in our operating results, and the amount of the non-credit related component is included in other comprehensive income, unless we intend to sell the debt security or it is more likely than not that we will be required to sell the debt security prior to its anticipated recovery. We do not accrue interest on debt securities when management believes the collection of interest is unlikely.
We lend certain debt and equity securities from our investment portfolio to other institutions for short periods of time. Borrowers must post cash collateral in the amount of 102% to 105% of the fair value of the loaned security. The fair value of the loaned securities is monitored on a daily basis, with additional collateral obtained or refunded as the fair value of the loaned securities fluctuates. The collateral is retained and invested by a lending agent according to our guidelines to generate additional income for us.
We carry the value of our mortgage loan investments on our balance sheets at the unpaid principal balance, net of impairment reserves. A mortgage loan may be impaired when it is a problem loan (i.e., more than 60 days delinquent, in bankruptcy or in process of foreclosure), a potential problem loan (i.e., high probability of default) or a restructured loan. For impaired loans, a specific impairment reserve is established for the difference between the recorded investment in the loan and the estimated fair value of the collateral. We apply our loan impairment policy individually to all loans in our portfolio.
The quarterly impairment evaluation described above also considers characteristics and risk factors attributable to the aggregate portfolio. We would establish an additional allowance for loan losses if it were probable that there would be a credit loss on a group of similar mortgage loans. We consider the following characteristics and risk factors when evaluating if a credit loss is probable: loan to value ratios, property type (e.g., office, retail, apartment, industrial), geographic location, vacancy rates and property condition. As a result of that evaluation, we determined that a credit loss was not probable and did not record any additional allowance for loan losses with respect to performing mortgage loans in 2013, 2012 or 2011.
We record full or partial charge-offs of loans at the time an event occurs affecting the legal status of the loan, typically at the time of foreclosure or upon a loan modification giving rise to forgiveness of debt. Interest income on an impaired loan is accrued to the extent we deem it collectible and the loan continues to perform under its original or restructured terms. Interest income on problem loans is recognized on a cash basis. Cash payments on loans in the process of foreclosure are treated as a return of principal. Mortgage loans with a maturity date or a committed prepayment date within twelve months are classified as current on our balance sheets.
Other investments consist primarily of alternative investments (which are comprised of private equity and hedge fund limited partnerships), investment real estate, derivatives and bank loans. We typically do not have a controlling ownership in our alternative investments, and therefore we apply the equity method of accounting for these investments. We invest in real estate for the production of income. We carry the value of our investment real estate on our balance sheets at depreciated cost, including capital additions, net of write-downs for other-than-temporary declines in fair value. Depreciation is calculated using the straight-line method based on the estimated useful life of each asset. If any of our real estate investments is considered held-for-sale, we carry it at the lower of its carrying value or fair value less estimated selling costs. We generally estimate fair value using a discounted future cash flow analysis in conjunction with comparable sales information. At the time of the sale, we record the difference between the sales price and the carrying value as a realized capital gain or loss. We also invest in bank loans, which are typically secured commercial loans. We invest in bank loans for the production of income. We carry the value of our investment in bank loans on our balance sheets at amortized cost, net of any allowance for impairments. If any of our bank loans are considered held-for-sale, we carry those loans at the lower of cost or fair value.
We make limited use of derivatives in order to manage interest rate, foreign exchange, price risk and credit exposure. The derivatives we use consist primarily of interest rate swaps, forward contracts, futures contracts, warrants, put options, and credit default swaps. Derivatives are reflected at fair value on our balance sheets.
When we enter into a derivative contract, if certain criteria are met, we may designate it as one of the following: a hedge of the fair value of a recognized asset or liability or of an unrecognized firm commitment; a hedge of a forecasted transaction or of the variability of cash flows to be received or paid related to a recognized asset or liability; or a foreign currency fair value or cash flow hedge.
Net Investment Income and Realized Capital Gains and Losses
Net investment income on investments supporting Health Care and Group Insurance liabilities and Large Case Pensions products (other than experience-rated and discontinued products) are reflected in our operating results.
Experience-rated products are products in the Large Case Pensions business where the contract holder, not us, assumes investment and other risks, subject to, among other things, minimum guarantees provided by us. The effect of investment performance on experience-rated products is allocated to contract holders' accounts daily, based on the underlying investment experience and, therefore, does not impact our operating results (as long as minimum guarantees are not triggered).
When we discontinued the sale of our fully-guaranteed Large Case Pensions products, we established a reserve for anticipated future losses from these discontinued products and segregated the related investments. Investment performance on this separate portfolio is ultimately credited/charged to the reserve and, generally, does not impact our operating results.
Net investment income supporting Large Case Pensions' experience-rated and discontinued products is included in net investment income in our statements of income and is credited to contract holders' accounts or the reserve for anticipated future losses through a charge to current and future benefits.
Realized capital gains and losses on investments supporting Health Care and Group Insurance liabilities and Large Case Pensions products (other than experience-rated and discontinued products) are reflected in our operating results. Realized capital gains and losses are determined on a specific identification basis. We reflect purchases and sales of debt and equity securities and alternative investments on the trade date. We reflect purchases and sales of mortgage loans and investment real estate on the closing date.
Realized capital gains and losses on investments supporting Large Case Pensions' experience-rated and discontinued products are not included in realized capital gains and losses in our statements of income and instead are credited directly to contract holders' accounts, in the case of experience-rated products, or allocated to the reserve for anticipated future losses established at discontinuance, in the case of discontinued products. The contract holders' accounts are reflected in policyholders' funds, and the reserve for anticipated future losses is reflected in future policy benefits on our balance sheets.
Unrealized capital gains and losses on investments supporting Health Care and Group Insurance liabilities and Large Case Pensions products (other than experience-rated and discontinued products) are reflected in shareholders' equity, net of tax, as a component of accumulated other comprehensive loss.
Unrealized capital gains and losses on investments supporting Large Case Pensions' experience-rated products are credited directly to contract holders' accounts, which are reflected in policyholders' funds on our balance sheets. Net unrealized capital gains and losses on discontinued products are reflected in other long-term liabilities on our balance sheets.
Refer to Note 20 beginning on page 137 for additional information on our discontinued products.
We utilize reinsurance agreements primarily to reduce our required capital and to facilitate the acquisition or disposition of certain insurance contracts. Ceded reinsurance agreements permit us to recover a portion of our losses from reinsurers, although they do not discharge our primary liability as the direct insurer of the risks reinsured. Failure of reinsurers to indemnify us could result in losses; however, we do not expect charges for unrecoverable reinsurance to have a material effect on our operating results or financial position. We evaluate the financial position of our reinsurers and monitor concentrations of credit risk arising from similar geographic regions, activities or economic characteristics of our reinsurers. At December 31, 2013, our reinsurance recoverables consisted primarily of amounts due from third parties that are rated consistent with companies that are considered to have the ability to meet their obligations.
We enter into agreements with other insurance companies under which we assume reinsurance, primarily related to our group life and health products. We do not transfer any portion of the financial risk associated with our HMO products to third parties, except in areas where we participate in state-mandated health insurance pools. We did not have material premiums ceded to or assumed from unrelated insurance companies in the three years ended December 31, 2013.
We have made acquisitions that included a significant amount of goodwill and other intangible assets. When we complete an acquisition, we apply the acquisition method of accounting, which among other things, requires the recognition of goodwill (which represents the excess cost of the acquisition over the fair value of net assets acquired and identified intangible assets).
We evaluate goodwill for impairment (at the reporting unit level) annually, or more frequently if circumstances indicate a possible impairment, by comparing an estimate of the fair value of the applicable reporting unit to its carrying value, including goodwill. If the carrying value exceeds fair value, we compare the implied fair value of the applicable goodwill to its carrying amount to measure the amount of goodwill impairment, if any. Impairments, if any, would be classified as an operating expense. There were no goodwill impairment losses recognized, and the fair value of each reporting unit substantially exceeded its carrying value in each of the three years ended December 31, 2013, 2012 or 2011.
Our annual impairment tests were based on an evaluation of future discounted cash flows. These evaluations utilized the best information available to us at the time, including supportable assumptions and projections we believe are reasonable. Collectively, these evaluations were our best estimates of projected future cash flows. Our discounted cash flow evaluations used discount rates that correspond to a weighted-average cost of capital consistent with a market-participant view. The discount rates are consistent with those used for investment decisions and take into account the operating plans and strategies of the Health Care and Group Insurance segments. Certain other key assumptions utilized, including changes in membership, revenue, health care costs, operating expenses, impacts of health care reform fees, assessments and taxes and effective tax rates, are based on estimates consistent with those utilized in our annual planning process that we believe are reasonable. If we do not achieve our earnings objectives, the assumptions and estimates underlying these goodwill impairment evaluations could be adversely affected, and we may impair a portion of our goodwill, which would adversely affect our operating results in the period of impairment.
Property and Equipment and Other Acquired Intangible Assets
We report property and equipment and other acquired intangible assets at historical cost, net of accumulated depreciation or amortization. At December 31, 2013 and 2012, the historical cost of property and equipment was approximately $852 million and $1.1 billion, respectively, and the related accumulated depreciation was approximately $130 million and $563 million, respectively. Refer to Note 7 beginning on page 99 for cost and accumulated amortization associated with other acquired intangibles. We calculate depreciation and amortization primarily using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the respective assets ranging from two to forty years.
In connection with the acquisition of Genworth Financial, Inc.'s (“Genworth's”) Medicare Supplement and related blocks of in-force business we recognized an asset for the valuation of business acquired (“VOBA”). VOBA represents the present value of the future profits embedded in the acquired businesses, and was determined by estimating the net present value of future cash flows from the contracts in force at the date of acquisition. VOBA is amortized in proportion to estimated premiums arising from the acquired contracts over their expected life.
We regularly evaluate whether events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of property and equipment or other acquired intangible assets may not be recoverable. If we determine that the carrying value of an asset may not be recoverable, we group the asset with other assets and liabilities at the lowest level for which independent identifiable cash flows are available and estimate the future undiscounted cash flows expected to result from future use of the asset group and its eventual disposition. If the sum of the expected undiscounted future cash flows is less than the carrying value of the asset group, we recognize an impairment loss for the amount by which the carrying value of the asset group exceeds its fair value. There were no material impairment losses recognized in the three years ended December 31, 2013, 2012 or 2011.
Separate Account assets and liabilities in the Large Case Pensions business represent funds maintained to meet specific objectives of contract holders who bear the investment risk. These assets and liabilities are carried at fair value. Net investment income and net realized capital gains and losses accrue directly to such contract holders. The assets of each account are legally segregated and are not subject to claims arising from our other businesses. Deposits, withdrawals, net investment income and net realized and net unrealized capital gains and losses on Separate Account assets are not reflected in our statements of income or cash flows. Management fees charged to contract holders are included in fees and other revenue and recognized over the period earned.
Health Care and Other Insurance Liabilities
Health care costs payable
Health care costs payable consist principally of unpaid fee-for-service medical, dental and pharmacy claims, capitation costs and other amounts due to health care providers pursuant to risk-sharing arrangements related to Health Care's POS, PPO, HMO, Indemnity, Medicare and Medicaid products. Unpaid health care claims include our estimate of payments we will make on claims reported to us but not yet paid and for health care services rendered to members but not yet reported to us as of the balance sheet date (collectively, “IBNR”). Also included in these estimates is the cost of services that will continue to be rendered after the balance sheet date if we are obligated to pay for such services in accordance with contractual or regulatory requirements. Such estimates are developed using actuarial principles and assumptions which consider, among other things, historical and projected claim submission and processing patterns, assumed and historical medical cost trends, historical utilization of medical services, claim inventory levels, changes in membership and product mix, seasonality and other relevant factors. We reflect changes in these estimates in health care costs in our operating results in the period they are determined. Capitation costs represent contractual monthly fees paid to participating physicians and other medical providers for providing medical care, regardless of the medical services provided to the member. Approximately five percent of our health care costs related to capitated arrangements in each of the last three years. Amounts due under risk-sharing arrangements are based on the terms of the underlying contracts with the providers and consider claims experience under the contracts through the balance sheet date.
Future policy benefits
Future policy benefits consist primarily of reserves for limited payment pension and annuity contracts in the Large Case Pensions business and long-duration group life and long-term care insurance contracts in the Group Insurance business. Reserves for limited payment contracts are computed using actuarial principles that consider, among other things, assumptions reflecting anticipated mortality, retirement, expense and interest rate experience. Such assumptions generally vary by plan, year of issue and policy duration. Assumed interest rates on such contracts ranged from 1.3% to 11.3% in both 2013 and 2012. We periodically review mortality assumptions against both industry standards and our experience. Reserves for long-duration group life and long-term care contracts represent our estimate of the present value of future benefits to be paid to or on behalf of policyholders less the present value of future net premiums. Assumed interest rates on such contracts ranged from 2.5% to 8.8% in both 2013 and 2012. Our estimate of the present value of future benefits under such contracts is based upon mortality, morbidity and interest rate assumptions.
Unpaid claims consist primarily of reserves associated with certain short-duration group disability and term life insurance contracts in the Group Insurance business, including an estimate for IBNR as of the balance sheet date. Reserves associated with certain short-duration group disability and term life insurance contracts are based upon our estimate of the present value of future benefits, which is based on assumed investment yields and assumptions regarding mortality, morbidity and recoveries from the U.S. Social Security Administration. We develop our estimate of IBNR using actuarial principles and assumptions which consider, among other things, contractual requirements, claim incidence rates, claim recovery rates, seasonality and other relevant factors. We discount certain claim liabilities related to group long-term disability and life insurance waiver of premium contracts. The discounted unpaid claim liabilities were $1.9 billion and $1.8 billion at December 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively. The undiscounted value of these unpaid claim liabilities was $2.6 billion and $2.5 billion at December 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively. The discount rates generally reflect our expected investment returns for the investments supporting all incurral years of these liabilities and ranged from 3.3% to 6.0% in 2013 and 3.5% to 6.0% in 2012. The discount rates for retrospectively-rated contracts are set at contractually specified levels. Our estimates of unpaid claims are subject to change due to changes in the underlying experience of the insurance contracts, changes in investment yields or other factors, and these changes are recorded in current and future benefits in our statements of income in the period they are determined.
Policyholders' funds consist primarily of reserves for pension and annuity investment contracts in the Large Case Pensions business and customer funds associated with group life and health contracts in the Health Care and Group Insurance businesses. Reserves for such contracts are equal to cumulative deposits less withdrawals and charges plus credited interest thereon, net of experience-rated adjustments. In 2013, interest rates for pension and annuity investment contracts ranged from 3.8% to 12.2%, and interest rates for group life and health contracts ranged from 0% to 3.2%. In 2012, interest rates for pension and annuity investment contracts ranged from 3.5% to 11.1%, and interest rates for group life and health contracts ranged from 0% to 3.3%. Reserves for contracts subject to experience rating reflect our rights as well as the rights of policyholders and plan participants.
We review health care and other insurance liabilities periodically. We reflect any necessary adjustments during the current period in operating results. While the ultimate amount of claims and related expenses are dependent on future developments, it is management's opinion that the liabilities that have been established are adequate to cover such costs. The health care and other insurance liabilities that are expected to be paid within twelve months are classified as current on our balance sheets.
Premium Deficiency Reserves
We evaluate our insurance contracts to determine if it is probable that a loss will be incurred. We recognize a premium deficiency loss when it is probable that expected future claims, including maintenance costs (for example, claim processing costs), will exceed existing reserves plus anticipated future premiums and reinsurance recoveries. Anticipated investment income is considered in the calculation of premium deficiency losses for short-duration contracts. For purposes of determining premium deficiency losses, contracts are grouped in a manner consistent with our method of acquiring, servicing and measuring the profitability of such contracts. We did not have any premium deficiency reserves at December 31, 2013 or 2012.
Health Care Contract Acquisition Costs
Health care benefits products included in the Health Care segment are cancelable by either the customer or the member monthly upon written notice. Acquisition costs related to our prepaid health care and health indemnity contracts are generally expensed as incurred.
Health care premiums are recognized as income in the month in which the enrollee is entitled to receive health care services. Health care premiums are reported net of an allowance for estimated terminations and uncollectible amounts. Additionally, premium revenue subject to the minimum MLR rebate requirements of Health Care Reform is recorded net of the estimated minimum MLR rebates for the current calendar year. Other premium revenue for group life, long-term care and disability products is recognized as income, net of allowances for termination and uncollectible accounts, over the term of the coverage. Other premium revenue for Large Case Pensions' limited payment pension and annuity contracts is recognized as revenue in the period received. Premiums related to unexpired contractual coverage periods are reported as unearned premiums in our balance sheets.
The balance of the allowance for estimated terminations and uncollectible accounts on premiums receivable was $90 million and $74 million at December 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively, and is reflected as a reduction of premiums receivable in our balance sheets. The balance of the allowance for uncollectible accounts on other receivables was $34 million and $16 million at December 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively, and is reflected as a reduction of other receivables in our balance sheets.
Some of our contracts allow for premiums to be adjusted to reflect actual experience or the relative health status of members. Such adjustments are reasonably estimable at the outset of the contract, and adjustments to those estimates are made based on actual experience of the customer emerging under the contract and the terms of the underlying contract.
Fees and other revenue consists primarily of ASC fees which are received in exchange for performing certain claim processing and member services for health and disability members and are recognized as revenue over the period the service is provided. Fees and other revenue also includes fees related to our workers' compensation administrative services products and services. Some of our contracts include guarantees with respect to certain functions, such as customer service response time, claim processing accuracy and claim processing turnaround time, as well as certain guarantees that a plan sponsor's benefit claim experience will fall within a certain range. With any of these guarantees, we are financially at risk if the conditions of the arrangements are not met, although the maximum amount at risk is typically limited to a percentage of the fees otherwise payable to us by the customer involved. Each period we estimate our obligations under the terms of these guarantees and record it as an offset to our ASC fees.
In addition, fees and other revenue also include charges assessed against contract holders' funds for contract fees, participant fees and asset charges related to pension and annuity products in the Large Case Pensions business. Other amounts received on pension and annuity investment-type contracts are reflected as deposits and are not recorded as revenue. Some of our Large Case Pension contract holders have the contractual right to purchase annuities with life contingencies using the funds they maintain on deposit with us. Since these products are considered an insurance contract, when the contract holder makes this election, we treat the accumulated investment balance as a single premium and reflect it as both premiums and current and future benefits in our statements of income.
Accounting for the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program (“PDP”)
We were selected by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) to be a national provider of PDP in all 50 states to both individuals and employer groups in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Under these annual contracts, CMS pays us a portion of the premium, a portion of, or a capitated fee for, catastrophic drug costs and a portion of the health care costs for low-income Medicare beneficiaries and provides a risk-sharing arrangement to limit our exposure to unexpected expenses.
We recognize premiums received from, or on behalf of, members or CMS and capitated fees as premium revenue ratably over the contract period. We expense the cost of covered prescription drugs as incurred. Costs associated with low-income Medicare beneficiaries (deductible, coinsurance, etc.) and the catastrophic drug costs paid in advance by CMS are recorded as a liability and offset health care costs when incurred. For individual PDP coverage, the risk-sharing arrangement provides a risk corridor whereby the amount we received in premiums from members and CMS based on our annual bid is compared to our actual drug costs incurred during the contract year. Based on the risk corridor provision and PDP activity-to-date, an estimated risk-sharing receivable or payable is recorded on a quarterly basis as an adjustment to premium revenue. We perform a reconciliation of the final risk-sharing, low-income subsidy and catastrophic amounts after the end of each contract year.
Allocation of Operating Expenses
We allocate to the business segments centrally-incurred costs associated with specific internal goods or services provided to us, such as employee services, technology services and rent, based on a reasonable method for each specific cost (such as membership, usage, headcount, compensation or square footage occupied). Interest expense on third-party borrowings and the financing components of our pension and other post-retirement benefit plan expense are not allocated to the reporting segments, since they are not used as a basis for measuring the operating performance of the segments. Such amounts are reflected in Corporate Financing in our segment financial information. Refer to Note 19 beginning on page 135 for additional information.
We are taxed at the statutory corporate income tax rates after adjusting income reported for financial statement purposes for certain items. We recognize deferred income tax assets and liabilities for the differences between the financial and income tax reporting basis of assets and liabilities based on enacted tax rates and laws. Valuation allowances are provided when it is considered more likely than not that deferred tax assets will not be realized. Deferred income tax expense or benefit primarily reflects the net change in deferred income tax assets and liabilities during the year.
Our current income tax provision reflects the tax results of revenues and expenses currently taxable or deductible. Penalties and interest on our tax positions are classified as a component of our income tax provision.