2014 rev­enue up for United Health and most com­mer­cial in­sur­ers

Modern Healthcare - - BY THE NUMBERS - By Michael San­dler

Unit­edHealth Group saw an up­surge in its gov­ern­ment busi­ness as it kept the top spot on Mod­ern Health­care’s list of the largest pub­licly traded health in­sur­ance com­pa­nies in 2014. Nearly all of in­sur­ers on the list en­joyed an in­crease in to­tal rev­enue in 2014 com­pared with the pre­vi­ous year.

Min­netonka, Minn.-based United-Health saw a 5.3% in­crease in to­tal rev­enue, which the com­pany at­trib­uted to growth in the num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als served in its public and se­nior mar­kets busi­nesses. Its com­mu­nity and state seg­ment, whose pri­mary cus­tomers run state Med­i­caid pro­grams and Chil­dren’s Health In­sur­ance Pro­grams and other fed­eral and state ef­forts, saw a 29.1% rev­enue in­crease over the prior year. As of Dec. 31, 2014, the in­surer’s com­mu­nity and state busi­nesses par­tic­i­pated in in­sur­ance pro­grams in 24 states, serv­ing more than 5 mil­lion ben­e­fi­cia­ries. Twelve of United-Health’s state cus­tomers chose to ex­pand Med­i­caid un­der the Af­ford­able Care Act.

But Unit­edHealth saw a 4% de­crease in its em­ployer and in­di­vid­ual busi­ness, as more em­ploy­ers shifted to self-in­sured plans. About 91% of peo­ple in com­pa­nies with 5,000 or more work­ers were in self-in­sured plans in 2014, while 15% of peo­ple in com­pa­nies with fewer than 200 work­ers were in self-in­sured plans, ac­cord­ing to the Kaiser Fam­ily Foun­da­tion.

One seg­ment of Unit­edHealth Group’s busi­ness saw par­tic­u­lar growth in 2014. Op­tum, which pro­vides pop­u­la­tion health man­age­ment, care de­liv­ery, and clin­i­cal and op­er­at­ing ser­vices for hos­pi­tal sys­tems, ex­pe­ri­enced a 25% in­crease in rev­enue over 2013, which the com­pany at­trib­uted to in­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity.

Mean­while, St. Louis-based Cen­tene Corp. saw a 52.4% rev­enue jump, the largest among in­sur­ers on the list. Man­aged-care membership climbed to 4.1 mil­lion, up 41%, the com­pany said. Cen­tene’s Cal­i­for­nia sub­sidiary, Cal­i­for­nia Health and Well­ness, be­gan op­er­at­ing un­der a new con­tract to serve Medi-Cal ben­e­fi­cia­ries in Cal­i­for­nia in Novem­ber 2013. In Jan­uary 2014, Cal­i­for­nia Health and Well­ness be­gan serv­ing many new en­rollees un­der the ACA’s Med­i­caid ex­pan­sion, the com­pany said.

Uni­ver­sal Amer­i­can Corp., which fin­ished 11th on the list, saw a 5.4% drop in rev­enue over 2013. Rev­enue gen­er­ated from the com­pany’s Medi­care Ad­van­tage seg­ment fell 11.9%. The com­pany said its decline in earn­ings was driven by the ACA’s health in­sur­ance tax pay­ments of $22.9 mil­lion, and lower membership and net in­vest­ment in­come.

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