UnitedHealth Is Bullish About Health Exchanges
During a conference call with investors Thursday, company executives suggested the online marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act could generate profit margins in the range of 3 to 5 percent. The company wasn't a major player this year, but plans to participate in two dozen states in 2015.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: UnitedHealth Group Eyes Growth On Health Exchanges
UnitedHealth Group wasn’t a major player when the federal government and some states launched new health insurance exchanges in late 2013. It’ll be a different story this fall, however, as the Minnetonka-based insurer plans to offer insurance products in nearly two dozen states through online marketplaces that were created by the federal Affordable Care Act. During a conference call with investors Thursday, company executives suggested the new market could generate profit margins in the range of 3 to 5 percent in the long run (Snowbeck, 10/16).
The Wall Street Journal: UnitedHealth’s Profit Boosted By Lower Medical Costs
UnitedHealth Group Inc. reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings and raised its profit forecast for the year, driven by lower medical costs. “Medical utilization remained restrained,” the health insurer said in a news release Thursday. UnitedHealth added that its medical-care ratio, a key industry metric that reflects the portion of insurance premiums used for patient care, fell to 79.7% in the third quarter from 80.6% a year earlier (Calia and Wilde Mathews, 10/16).
Reuters: UnitedHealth Says Medical Use Low And Likely To Stay
UnitedHealth Group Inc said on Thursday that patients had used medical services at low rates in the third quarter, easing worries among investors that higher admissions reported by hospitals would cost insurers more than they planned. UnitedHealth reported a net profit increase that beat Wall Street expectations and described medical use as "restrained." The portion of premiums that it spent on medical claims fell, including for the division that manages health plans sold on the new Obamacare health exchanges. Both hospitals and insurers are benefiting from increased patient volume, which appears to be related to the Affordable Care Act, Leerink Partners analyst Ana Gupte said. At the same time, UnitedHealth was clear that its costs were not rising (Humer, 10/16).