In a related story in Michigan, more people are losing their health insurance; however, profits are up for the HMOs.  “Michigan health plans posted strong profits in 2008, despite seeing a 10 percent drop in commercial enrollment to 1.4 million, according to the 2009 Michigan Health Market Review.”  What’s wrong with this picture?

“Stephen J. Hemsley, president and chief executive officer of UnitedHealth Group, said, "Our employees continue to deliver value to our customers in this challenging economic environment. This quarter was characterized by continued strong execution, a sharp focus on costs and quality service, elevated engagement on health care reform, continued innovation in the marketplace and further diversification of our business."

Goldman Sachs – Healthcare Reform Bets, Hedges, and Analysis, Not About Healthcare But All About Money
United Health Care Says Cheaper Efficient Doctors and Reducing Hospital Visits by the Elderly Would Help Reduce the Cost of Healthcare

How much more do we need to see here to create an urgency for reform.  United is the largest business health insurance company by ranking revenue.  They over charge, use less than ethical policies and run business intelligence software to the maximum for profit.  They sure have been hit with many fines, etc. but they pay them and just keep on going, doing business as “they” see fit.  The sooner everyone gets smart, the better chance we will have, but we are all playing catch up with the new administration having to deal with a former administration’s dated policies that lived in the 70s and allowed all of this to flourish.  BD 

Health insurer accused of overcharging millions – United Health Care/Oxford Insurance 50 Million Fine

UnitedHealth Group Inc. reported a soaring second-quarter profit Tuesday, but uncertainty surrounding the health care overhaul debate in Congress helped keep the managed-care company's shares grounded.

The Minnetonka-based company said its profit more than doubled compared with the same quarter last year, when hefty legal charges weighed down earnings. UnitedHealth also said revenue rose 7 percent, as it saw strong growth in its public and senior health insurance. 

Revenue rose to $21.66 billion from $20.27 billion on increased premiums, which grew partly because of price increases. UnitedHealth is the largest commercial health insurer based on revenue.

"They could have blown out numbers today, and there still would be a limit as to how high the stock would run," Edward Jones analyst Steve Shubitz said. The insurer's commercial health insurance enrollment fell to 25 million in the second quarter. That represents a 6 percent decline from the same quarter last year. UnitedHealth attributed that mainly to economic pressures that forced clients to either cut jobs or trim benefits.

UnitedHealth doubles 2Q profit - TwinCities.com

Related Reading:

UnitedHealth Receives $21.8B military health care contract With DOD Tri-Care – Aetna Gains Northern Region
Update Cisco Lays Off Hundreds - UnitedHealth To Spend Tens of Million of Dollars with Cisco to Build Nationwide Telehealth Network –
Aetna and United HealthCare Secure Military Contracts with Tri-Care
Insurance CEOs Get Rich While Denying Health Coverage to Children – As Noted in the Senate Hearings
Is This a Case for a New Law – Illegal Algorithms? How Do You Sleep at Night Rockefeller asked the CEO of United Health Care

5 comments :

  1. I just wanted to post my experience with United Healthcare. First of all, two months after I enrolled with this company my prescription copay jumped from $20 to $75 and I had no way to switch to another company until open enrollment THE FOLLOWING YEAR. Second, it took them 6 months and repeated calling just to get my member ID card. Third, when I had a question I could never, and still can't get through their automated phone system because it won't recognize my member ID! Fourth, their website will not accept my ID number OR my social security information. So can't contact them by internet either! Fifth, I have had to FIGHT for every claim, and have had to get preauthorization even for maintenance drugs that I take daily and ongoing. Finally, they have just rejected another claim for testing saying, are you ready for this, I DON'T HAVE INSURANCE! I am a TEACHER whose district buys their plan through the STATE. I do not know if this treatment is due to the fact that I am a woman, have an HMO, if this is the way insurance companies treat teachers, or UNITED HEALTHCARE IS WORSE THAN HAVING NO INSURANCE AT ALL!!! I would not now, nor ever, recommend this company. DANGER< BAD INSURANCE COMPANY WITH HIGH PREMIUMS>

    ticked off teacher

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  2. I've had the worst possible experience with UHC, even though I pay 1500 a month in premiums for my family (most of this paid by my company) I have to call multiple times to demand UHC pay my dr. bills after each and every claim. I had to call over 20 times and write my attorney general before they finally agreed to pay for the delivery of my child! UNBELIEVABLE! They wanted to pay 10% of the cost by finding loopholes and passing me from person to person who said "there is nothing I can do, you have to call so and so"... They finally paid the bill once the attorney general got involved and sent them a WTF letter. I'm absolutely appalled by this unethical scamming company. I am an average, healthy, working mother. My company has gotten so many complaints about UHC they just switched the whole company (500 employees) to Blue Cross. Please please Obama... don't give up. Reform is Vital. The current system is a disgrace.

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  3. I have a question. I have been having problems with UHC because they refused to pay for an IUD. I had my second daughter in March 2009 and I could not get an IUD. I have called as many doctors as I could but their offices do not carry the device because UHC is too cheap to pay the price of the device; they actually told me to buy it from the manufacturer. I have found a clinic for the uninsured and UHC told me that they were in-network and I went through the process to find out the they were not … and now I have to pay for everything. This should be illegal. Is there anyone out there who can give me advice as to how to deal with UHC??

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  4. As a physician who has worked on both the West and East coast with UHC and it's minions the preceding comments are not surprizing. Just for a little perspective...UHC was the Darling of the U.S. Govt and Wall Street back in 1990-1995. Doctors like me HAD to band together because under Anti-Racketeering laws We could not discuss our fee schedules with each other. But Big HMOs like UHC were immune from the same laws and actively discussed "what the traffic will bear" with other HMOs. The Government did nothing. Peter Stark D-CA made thing worse for us by hobbling what medical entities doctors could own or refer to. On the other hand, no laws restricted HMO from sending patients out of state to save a buck.
    One Wall Street observer in 1995 remarked that UHC was 'running out of places to stash their money.'
    UHC has friends in very high places. My advice is to run in the other direction if they come bearing gifts...

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