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UnitedHealth boosts revenue, membership in Q2

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) continues its recent string of successful quarters, posting a 13 percent increase in net income and an 8 percent increase in revenue, while also adding members to its health plans.

The health insurance company's second quarter sales reached $23.65 billion, a 7.7 percent climb, and its Optum health services reported a 19 percent sales jump to $7 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. UnitedHealth's net income rose to $1.27 billion, or $1.16 a share, compared with $1.12 billion, or 99 cents a share, one year ago. And revenue increased to $25.23 billion, the New York Times reports.

UnitedHealth's medical-loss ratio decreased just slightly to 81.4 percent in the second quarter from 81.5 percent a year earlier and was unchanged from the first quarter. The insurer also had a favorable reserve development of $180 million, compared with $270 million in the second quarter last year, notes the WSJ.

Analysts believe the decreased medical utilization trend continues to help insurers boost their bottom lines. However, UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley expects people to start increasing their use of health services like they did before the recession. "We expect a return toward somewhat more normal utilization trends in the second half of this year and into 2012," he said.

Meanwhile, UnitedHealth has hired more than 180,000 employees during the second quarter, and has added 1.2 million enrollees in the first half of the year, a 5 percent boost over the same period last year, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

To learn more:
- read the Wall Street Journal story
- see the New York Times article
- check out the Minneapolis Star Tribune article

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