UnitedHealth reports 9% increase in Q3 revenues, offset by ACA exchange exit

UnitedHealth Group generated revenues of $50.3 billion in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, up 9 percent compared to the same period last year.

The Minnetonka, Minn.-based payer said the growth was reduced by its widespread ACA exchange exit this year and the law's health insurance tax deferral, according to recent financial filings. UnitedHealth Group saw consolidated revenues drop by about $1.6 billion year over year due to the exchange departure.

While UnitedHealth saw operating costs increase year over year about 8 percent to $46.2 billion, it achieved a 14.2 percent increase in operating earnings in the third quarter of this year compared to the same period a year prior. In addition, UnitedHealth reported net earnings of $2.5 billion in the third quarter of 2017, up from $2 billion in the third quarter of 2016.

Despite its exchange exit, UnitedHealth's insurance arm, UnitedHealthcare, added 1.9 million more policyholders to its employer-based, Medicare, Medicaid and international medical policies in the third quarter of this year compared to the same period last year. UnitedHealthcare reported operating earnings of $2.4 billion in the third quarter, up 13.2 percent year over year.

UnitedHealth's Optum health services operations also maintained strong growth. Across all lines, Optum generated $1.7 billion in earnings from operations, reflecting a 15.7 percent year-over-year increase. 

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