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On April 15, 2020, UnitedHealth Group reported strong first quarter profits at a time when the effects of the novel coronavirus crisis have caused many healthcare providers to struggle financially.  Overall, United reported a 6.8% growth in revenues, with $3.4 billion in profits for the first quarter.  United’s health insurance division, UnitedHealthcare, reported revenue growth of 4.4% to $51.1 billion, primarily as a result of growth in its Medicare Advantage and dual special needs plans.
United’s earnings per share were $3.52 and adjusted net earnings were $3.72 per share, which reflect a 23.6% return on equity.  Dividend payments grew 19.1% year-over-year to $1.0 billion.  The earnings report noted that the high return on equity “continued to reflect the company’s strong overall margin profile.” 
In a press release, United stated that its first quarter earnings results “reflect minimal impact from the progression of the COVID-19 virus across the U.S…..”  In a conference call with investors, United’s chief financial officer John Rex stated that:  “[a]t the segment levels, UnitedHealthcare and the OptumHealth, Insight and Rx businesses all reported first quarter operating earnings that were in line with our own expectations going into the year.  Looking ahead, we are maintaining our full year 2020 earnings per share outlook.”
United’s strong first quarter profits follow its strong earnings results from 2019.  Unfortunately, the attorneys of Whatley Kallas, LLP are seeing health insurance companies, including United, deny and underpay legitimate claims of our provider clients, a practice that no doubt adds to the profits of United and other health insurance companies.
For Whatley Kallas’s previous article on United’s 2019 earnings, click here.  For United’s first quarter earnings report, click here