UnitedHealth Group, the nation's largest insurer by revenue, has reported strong first-quarter earnings, higher enrollment and minimal adverse affects from the reform-law requirement specifying the percentage of member premiums that insurers must spend on direct patient care.
UnitedHealth Group reports strong 1Q earnings
As such, the Minnetonka, Minn.-based insurer raised its earnings and revenue forecasts for 2011. UnitedHealth Group said net income rose 13% in the first quarter, and revenue grew 10% year-over-year to $25.4 billion. Commercial enrollment increased by 790,000 people to a total of 25.6 million lives.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires insurers to spend at least 80% to 85% of member premiums on direct medical care and quality improvement starting this year. UnitedHealth Group reported a medical-loss ratio of 81.4%, boosted by better clinical management and lower health system use.
Carl Oppenheimer, analyst at Citi, wrote in an investor note that, “at first glance, minimum MLRs appeared to have no impact on United's results.”
UnitedHealth Group's publicly traded competitors will release first quarter results over the next few weeks.
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