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Seeing beyond the peak of UnitedHealthcare’s revenues

A November 29 article in Forbes shares United's 2022 revenue projections… and you just might lose your mind.

No mountain is too high when it comes to revenue expectations for UnitedHealthcare. 2020 was good, 2021 was better, and in 2022, we can’t even see the peak yet.

Per a recent article in Forbes, the same company that brought in $257 billion in 2020 revenues expects $287 billion from this year, and – drumroll please – for the first time, they expect to blow past $300 billion in revenue for 2022 – somewhere in the neighborhood of $317 billion to $320 billion, to be precise.

For context, only two companies broke the $300 billion revenue mark last year: Amazon and Walmart.

How is United sitting so very pretty? According to the article, it’s because the “healthcare giant continues to successfully meld its insurance business with the provision of medical care.”

Indeed. UnitedHealth Group CEO Andrew Witty said during a Forbes Annual Healthcare Summit discussion that he is exploring how the company’s payor and provider branches can work together more closely.

Look, it’s clear they’re going gangbusters. And if Un-Covered was a website dedicated to successful business enterprises instead of one focused on how hospital reimbursements are being gutted, we’d give them a glowing review.

But it isn’t. And this stuff isn’t happening in a vacuum. United is incredibly successful because it owns both sides of the coin. It collects our premiums, ostensibly to provide us coverage, but winds up pushing our care toward its own doctors and facilities – making it more difficult, complex, and expensive to see our doctors of choice.

Amazing business model. And it might even be tolerable if UnitedHealthcare made cars, or software, or potato chips. Something of which folks could opt in or out. But it’s not – it’s people’s health. It’s people’s lives.

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