UnitedHealth Group reported a $5.6 billion first quarter profit as the healthcare giant’s UnitedHealthcare insurance plans and Optum medical provider businesses grew by “double-digit” percentages, the company said Friday.
UnitedHealth, a nationwide provider of medical care under the Optum umbrella and a company that pays for benefits through its health insurance plans, said net income increased to $5.61 billion compared to $5.03 billion in the first quarter of 2022. Revenue jumped 15% to nearly $92 billion in the quarter from $80 billion a year-ago thanks to “diversified double-digit growth at both Optum and UnitedHealthcare.”
Friday’s first quarter report signaled 2023 may be another good year for UnitedHealth as well as its health plan rivals given the company is the first in its industry to report earnings every quarter. UnitedHealth raised its full year net earnings outlook “to $23.25 to $23.75 per share and adjusted net earnings to $24.50 to $25.00 per share.”
“Our strong, enterprise-wide growth this quarter is a direct result of our colleagues’ unwavering commitment to offering more health services to more people and connecting consumers with greater access to high-quality, affordable care,” UnitedHealth chief executive Andrew Witty said in a statement accompanying the earnings report.
To be sure, the health insurance business UnitedHealthcare reported nearly 2 million more customers than a year ago, with “broad-based growth across the company’s commercial, community-based and senior benefit offerings,” the company said of the 52.89 million people served in the first quarter comoared to 50.96 million a year ago. That helped UnitedHealthcare’s first quarter revenues increase by 13% to $70.5 billion while operating earnings jumped 14% to $4.3 billion, the company said.
Meanwhile, Optum, which includes the OptumRx pharmacy benefit management company and an array of medical care provider operations from doctor practices to surgery centers and primary care clinics, grew revenue by 25% to $54.1 billion. Optum’s operating earnings rose 19% to $3.7 billion, UnitedHealth said.