Executives at UnitedHealth Group Inc. today kicked off the first-quarter earnings release season for life and health insurers by declaring that they’re the ones making real progress at improving the U.S. health care delivery system.
David Wichmann, UnitedHealth’s chief executive officer, told securities analysts that the Medicare for All proposals now under discussion would lead to wholesale disruption of the U.S. health care system and drive up costs, without doing much to increase access to care.
But Wichmann did say the company supports universal coverage, based on existing programs.
“The path forward is to achieve universal coverage, and it can be substantially reached through existing public and private platforms,” Wichmann said.
Wichmann talked about his company’s vision for universal coverage during a conference call the company held to go over its first-quarter earnings.
UnitedHealth is reporting $3.6 billion in net income for the quarter on $60 billion in revenue, up from $2.9 billion on $55 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2018.
The company ended the quarter providing or administering major medical coverage for about 50 million people, up from 49 million people a year earlier.
Medicare Advantage enrollment increased to 5.2 million, from 4.8 million.
The number of Medicare supplement insurance insureds held steady at about 4.5 million.