UnitedHealth’s Profit

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How does an insurance company make money?  As the title of this article says, they “boost their profits by lowering medical costs”. So here are the facts.  UnitedHealth Group Inc. reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings and raised its profit forecast for the year and did it by driving down medical costs. How?

  • Medical utilization remained restrained
  • UnitedHealth added that its medical-care ratio, a key industry metric that reflects the portion of insurance premiums used for patient care, fell to 79.7% in the third quarter from 80.6% a year earlier
  • UnitedHealth pointed to the increasing prevalence of high-deductible health plans and to its growing use of health-care provider contracts that link reimbursement to performance.
  •  UnitedHealth said its profit for the quarter ended Sept. 30 was $1.6 billion, or $1.63 a share, up from $1.57 billion, or $1.53 a share.
  • Revenue rose 7% to $32.76 billion.

So, let’s summarize.  The insurance companies, supposedly smacked down by the Obama administration, are making more than ever.  The limit on profits mean nothing.  We are all starting to understand that the ACA was more catered to them then to the people. And they are doing this by getting people onto high-deductible plans that are still expensive and hoping those patients never go over that deductible.  Lastly, to put a fail safe mechanism on the scam, they link reimbursement to performance (unproven P4P) which means finding ways to pay doctors less.

Why are more doctors NOT walking from this crap?

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