UnitedHealth's profit slips 36% in Q2: 7 things to know

UnitedHealth Group released its second-quarter earnings report July 15, with notable revenue growth and profit drops.

Seven things to know:

UnitedHealth Group

1. Second-quarter revenue across UnitedHealth was up 15 percent year over year to $71.3 billion.

2. Compared to 2020's second quarter, UnitedHealth's revenue increased by about $9 billion, but operational earnings dropped off by more than $3 billion. UnitedHealth cites a decrease in operating cost ratio (14.5 percent in 2021 compared to 16.1 percent in 2020), attributing it to health insurance tax changes, broad 2020 investments, productivity advancements and the effects of the pandemic.

3. UnitedHealth ended the quarter with a $4.3 billion profit, down nearly 36 percent from $6.6 billion a year prior. 


4. The company's health insurance unit, UnitedHealthcare, saw 13 percent revenue growth year over year, with $55.5 billion in total revenue. 

5. UnitedHealthcare's membership has grown by 1.2 million since the end of 2020, with the insurer covering 49.6 million Americans as of June 30. Medicare Advantage plans saw strong growth, according to the report, and securing Medicaid contracts in Hawaii and Ohio also aided growth.


6. Optum saw stronger revenue growth, up 17.2 percent year over year to $38.3 billion.

7. OptumHealth served an additional 2 million people over last year's second quarter, bringing the total served to 99 million. UnitedHealth credits much of that to development of integrated and at-home care. 

The company's earnings at $4.70 per share trumped expectations, which Zacks Equity Research pinned at $4.41. The company has surpassed Zacks estimates four times in a row.   

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