UnitedHealth Group’s profits eclipsed $5.2 billion in the third quarter on a strong performance by its Optum health services and UnitedHealthcare health plans.
UnitedHealth, which continues to see success as both a provider of medical care benefits under the Optum umbrella and as a company that pays for benefits through its health insurance plans, Friday said third quarter net income increased to $5.26 billion compared to $4.28 billion in the third quarter of 2022.
The growth was diversified across all platforms with total revenues rising 12% to $80.9 billion in the quarter compared to $72.3 billion in the year ago period.
Friday’s earnings report signaled a stronger performance for the rest of the year with UnitedHealth chief executive Andrew Witty telling analysts on the company’s earnings call that UnitedHealth’s performance allows “us to deliver durable and balanced growth and to increase our 2022 adjusted earnings outlook to a range of $21.85 to $22.05 per share.”
UnitedHealth’s UnitedHealthcare health insurance business grew in all areas from commercial to government-subsidized insurance like the increasingly popular Medicare Advantage plans, which contract with the federal government to provide extra benefits and services to seniors, such as disease management and nurse help hotlines with some also offering vision, dental care and wellness programs.
“Total people served domestically by UnitedHealthcare has grown by approximately 850,000 in 2022, including 185,000 in the third quarter,” UnitedHealth said in its earnings report. “Growth was led by UnitedHealthcare’s community based and senior offerings. The number of people served with domestic commercial benefit insurance offerings has grown by more than 100,000 over the past six months.”
The additional health plan enrollees helped the UnitedHealthcare health insurance business revenues grow 11% to $62 billion in the third quarter.
“Through Medicare Advantage people are experiencing better health outcomes than in traditional fee-for-service Medicare across a wide spectrum of measures,” Witty told analysts. “For example, MA members with diabetes have over 50% lower rates of any category of complication and over 70% lower rates of serious complications. This is due to our ability to provide deeper, more coordinated levels of care.”
Meanwhile, Optum’s third quarter revenues rose 17% to $46.6 billion “led by Optum Health,” the company said. UnitedHealth said Optum’s operating earnings were $3.7 billion, which compared to $3.1 billion last year.
UnitedHealth’s Optum businesses include an array of healthcare services that include surgery centers, clinics, doctor practices and the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) company, OptumRx.
“Optum Health revenue per consumer served increased 31% over the year ago period, driven by growth in value-based care arrangements and continued expansion of care delivery platforms, including in-home, clinic-based, ambulatory surgery, behavioral and digital,” UnitedHealth said in its earnings report.