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UnitedHealth Group projects more than $300 billion in revenue next year

Christopher Snowbeck, Star Tribune on

Published in Business News

Minnesota's largest company by revenue expects to keep getting bigger next year.

UnitedHealth Group detailed for investors Tuesday how the Minnetonka-based health care giant expects in 2022 to grow revenue by about 10-11% to between $317 billion and $320 billion. That's more revenue than the next 10 largest Minnesota-based public companies reported in 2020 combined.

The company expects double-digit revenue growth from both UnitedHealthcare, which is the nation's largest health insurer, as well as Optum, a division that sells health care services ranging from clinical care and data consulting to management of pharmaceutical benefits within health plans.

COVID-19 should have a significantly smaller impact on financial results, executives said, adding that UnitedHealth Group seems to be escaping the pandemic-related phenomenon known as the "great resignation," where many in recent months have been calling it quits.

"In the same period, at UnitedHealth Group we've received 827,000 applications for people to work for us in the United States," chief executive Andrew Witty told investors. "Worldwide it's over 1 million people."

Insurance membership at UnitedHealthcare is expected to grow next year by up to 1 million people beyond its base of roughly 45 million in the U.S. The company expects to pick up subscribers in Medicare Advantage health plans for seniors, while seeing modest enrollment declines in its business running HMOs for people in state Medicaid programs.

 

Revenue and operating earnings are expected to grow faster at Optum. Chief financial officer John Rex said that among the Optum business, growth prospects are particularly strong at OptumHealth, which operates a growing network of clinics and surgery centers across the country.

Some 60,000 physicians are either employed by or affiliated with OptumHealth, which also works with some 20,000 nurse practitioners and other advanced practice clinicians.

UnitedHealth Group's division for data and IT consulting, called OptumInsight, expects to grow through more partnerships with health care providers, including large hospital systems, Rex said. It's a flip on the traditional relationship where hospitals often struggle with health insurers over payment terms.

"We're often painted as not necessarily the friend of the hospital system," Witty said. "As you'll hear later today, we're increasingly becoming the ally of our hospital partners."

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