It’s been well documented that insurers have profited from a drop in care utilization during the pandemic, while providers experienced a sharp drop in revenue with many elective procedures being postponed or canceled. UnitedHealth Group recently put this inequality into sharp contrast when they released their expectation of $277 to $280 billion in revenue for 2021, up from the $257 billion they expected to make in 2020. This is a huge jump from pre-pandemic years: in 2019, UnitedHealth Group had a revenue of $242 billion (which is still a massive figure). Regardless, these massive earnings are so high at such a precarious time for the rest of the healthcare system that they’ve prompted congressional reviews. Will that be enough to compel insurers to do more for providers? We’re not holding our breath.
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