UnitedHealth Group, Minnetonka, Minn., consolidated all of its Medicare managed-care operations under a single national brand and infrastructure to cut administrative costs, streamline customer service and boost brand recognition. The new brand, to be called SecureHorizons, will replace a number of Medicare Advantage plans previously marketed regionally through UnitedHealth's various units, including UnitedHealthcare, PacifiCare Health Systems, Oxford Health Plans and John Deere Health Care. "In an effort to consolidate our collective capabilities internally and to better serve our customers externally, we decided to consolidate from both a brand standpoint and an operating standpoint," said Rick Jelinek, chief executive officer of the new SecureHorizons unit. Previously, Jelinek oversaw the launch of UnitedHealth's Medicare prescription-drug program and was chief operating officer of the insurer's Evercare unit, which serves frail elderly patients. UnitedHealth became the nation's largest Medicare Advantage insurer when in December 2005 it acquired 3.3 million-member PacifiCare, which operated Medicare plans under the SecureHorizons name. UnitedHealth's new SecureHorizons unit covers 1.4 million Medicare beneficiaries nationwide and is expected to contribute about 20% of the insurer's projected revenue in 2006.
Editor's note: This item was corrected Aug. 17, 4:15 EST.