NU Online News Service, Jan. 24, 2:08 p.m. – UnitedHealth Group Inc., Minnetonka, Minn., says its investment in benefits Web sites is starting to pay off.

More than 740,000 members, 5,000 employers and 7,500 brokers used company sites in the fourth quarter, according to the latest UnitedHealth earnings release.

The number of transactions processed increased to 2.5 million, up from “virtually none” in the fourth quarter of 2000, and the sites accounted for 17% of new fourth-quarter small-business sales volume, UnitedHealth says.