UnitedHealth reports $4.3B in profit in Q2, down from massive Q2 2020 haul

UnitedHealth Group reported $4.3 billion in profit for the second quarter of 2021, down from its massive haul in the prior-year quarter.

In the second quarter of 2020, the healthcare giant posted an eye-popping $6.6 billion in profit as healthcare utilization plummeted under the COVID-10 pandemic. The strong performance from insurers across the board a year ago prompted Congress to probe their finances.

Though profit was down year over year, the insurer did surpass Wall Street’s expectations on both earnings and revenue, according to analysts at Zacks Investment Research. UnitedHealth Group brought in $71.3 billion in revenue for the quarter, up from $62.1 billion in the first quarter of 2020.

“The compassion, dedication and ongoing efforts of our 330,000 colleagues to advance peoples’ health and health system performance reinforces our confidence in delivering strongly on our strategies for those we serve and continuing to grow well into the future,” said Andrew Witty, CEO of UnitedHealth Group, in a statement.

RELATED: Insurers saw sky-high profits in Q2. Now, Congress wants to take a look at their finances

Through the first six months of 2021, UnitedHealth Group brought in $9.1 billion in profit, down from $10 billion in the first half of 2020. Total revenues through June 30, 2021, were $141.5 billion, up from $126.6 billion a year ago.

At UnitedHealthcare, membership has grown by 1.2 million since the end of 2020, which Medicare Advantage a notable source of that growth. The country’s largest health plan also pointed toward Medicaid contract awards in Ohio and Hawaii as growth opportunities, with a “strong pipeline” of potential awards and renewals for the rest of 2021.

By the end of the second quarter of 2021, OptumHealth had served 99 million people, up from 97 million people a year prior. Revenue per consumer served was up 43% year over year, Optum said.

OptumRx filled 342 million scripts in the second quarter, up 8% from the prior-year quarter and up 4% from the first quarter of 2021, UnitedHealth said.

Based on the results, UnitedHealth Group raised its full-year guidance to between $18.30 and $18.80 per share.

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