In a time where many health insurance companies are worried about the impact of the Affordable Care Act, it’s encouraging to see health insurance giants like UnitedHealth Group up 23% in quarterly profits. According to Chad Terhune’s article on LATimes.com, the country’s largest health insurer is up in the third quarter partly due to the continued growth in their Medicare and Medicaid products.
UnitedHealth typically is the first health insurer to report quarterly results and ends up setting the tone for the industry overall. They have no raised their full-year earnings forecast for 2012 and said overall medical costs among customers remained in check. Net income for the quarter ending September 30th was $1.56 billion, compared with $1.27 billion for the same time period in 2011. Overall revenue in the quarter grew an impressive 8%.
President Obama’s health care reform has a lot of insurers worried about how the new rules will affect their bottom line. Interestingly enough, UnitedHealth, along with many other competitors, is finding much of their growth through government health programs. With UnitedHealth being the largest health insurer with 36.5 million members, it’s important they find success through the changes of health care reform.
In the last twelve months, UnitedHealth has added over 400,000 Medicare Advantage customers through internal growth and also acquisitions. Medicaid enrollment also grew significantly by about 385,000 in just the past year. This growth speaks volumes about the impact these government programs are having on health insurance companies.
It’s important that insurers do not focus solely on these types of government programs. UnitedHealth is also looking beyond the American market for new customers and business expansion. Just this past week, they agreed to acquire 90% of Amil Participacoes SA, Brazil’s largest healthcare company. This is a huge undertaking for UnitedHealth Group which speaks volumes to how well they are doing and how well they perceive the future to be. Hopefully health care reform can continue to support health insurers and their consistent and promising growth.
Written by Sam Tabes
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Tags: health care reform, health insurance news, unitedhealth care, unitedhealth group, unitedhealth profits