With Closed Network, UnitedHealth Goes ‘Back to the Future’

UnitedHealthcare is testing a new product in southern California using a closed network that relies on the company’s own OptumCare medical group. The product, which the insurer first rolled out in mid-2019, boasts premiums that are significantly lower than other plans from United and from competing insurers.

OptumCare has grown over the past decade to include nearly 50,000 employed or aligned physicians, and the company is expecting it to point the way forward for plans to “reinvent health care delivery,” Optum CEO Andrew Witty told investors late last year at UnitedHealth Group’s annual investor day (HPW 12/9/19, p. 4). The new insurance product, Harmony, is part of that effort.

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