UnitedHealth’s Results Indicate Care Deferral Trend Is Waning

UnitedHealth Group on Oct. 14 reported that its adjusted earnings per share (EPS) was $3.51 for the third quarter, beating the Wall Street consensus of $3.11. According to a company news release, UnitedHealth brought in $65.1 billion in the third quarter, representing an 8% increase year over year. However, the $3.51 adjusted EPS for the third quarter of this year is a 10% drop from last year’s third-quarter EPS.

Like other health insurers, UnitedHealth has benefited from reduced care utilization due to the COVID-19 pandemic: in the second quarter, the company posted a 70.2% medical loss ratio (MLR) (HPW 7/20/20, p. 3). In an Oct. 15 investor note, Citi analyst Ralph Giacobbe pointed out that the firm’s reported third-quarter MLR was 81.9%, lower than the Wall Street consensus projection of 83.6%.

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Peter Johnson

Peter has been a reporter for nearly a decade. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered a wide variety of topics in his hometown of Seattle, where he continues to live. Peter’s work has appeared in publications including The Atlantic and The Stranger. Peter attended Colby College.

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