What You Need to Know
- Revenue and net earnings were higher than in the third quarter of 2020.
- Lower spending on routine care helped offset an increase in spending on COVID-19 care.
- Medicare Advantage enrollment increased, and Medicare supplement insurance enrollment fell.
UnitedHealth Group provides health coverage for about one in eight Americans, and its annual revenue amounts to about 1.4% of U.S. national income.
Executives there see signs of cost pressure moving through the economy.
Dirk McMahon — the chief operating officer of the Minnetonka, Minnesota-based health insurer and health care provider — talked about cost pressure Thursday, during a conference call with securities analysts.
UnitedHealth held the call to follow its earnings report for the third quarter with securities analysts. Securities analysts are people who help investors understand what’s happening at companies that sold large amounts of stock to ordinary investors.
The third quarter of 2021 ended Sept. 30.
UnitedHealth is reporting $4.2 billion in net income for the third quarter on $72 billion in revenue, compared with $3.2 billion in net income on $65 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2020.
Executives said the unexpectedly high cost of continuing to fight COVID-19 was offset by a decrease in spending on ordinary preventive and sick care.
Cost of Labor
Stephen Baxter, an analyst with Wells Fargo Securities, asked about the possible effects of a tight labor market on reimbursement rate negotiations with health care providers.