UnitedHealth's earnings double in Q2 as patients deferred elective procedures

UnitedHealth Group saw its earnings increase significantly during the second quarter of this fiscal year as patients deferred elective procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Five things to know from UnitedHealth's second-quarter results:

1. UnitedHealth recorded $9.2 billion in earnings from operations in the second quarter ended June 30, nearly double the $4.7 billion it posted in the same period last year. UnitedHealth said the spike is "due primarily to the unprecedented, temporary deferral of care." The company said the results will be offset in future quarters as patients resume deferred care and future COVID-19 costs arise, as well as through assistance measures the company has already taken. 

2. UnitedHealth's revenue grew about 2.5 percent to $62.1 billion in the second quarter of this year, but its operating costs fell more than 5 percent in the same period. UnitedHealth said revenue gains reflected growth in its Optum health services and UnitedHealthcare health insurance businesses.

3. The company's UnitedHealthcare health insurance unit saw notable revenue gains in its Medicare and Medicaid businesses in the second quarter, which were up 7 percent year over year. Year to date, UnitedHealthcare has served an additional 600,000 members in government-sponsored programs.

4. OptumHealth, which focuses on care delivery, served 97 million people in the second quarter of this year, up 2 million from the previous year. Revenue per consumer served grew 25 percent year over year, which UnitedHealth said was driven by continued growth in value-based care arrangements. 

5. UnitedHealth ended the second quarter with $6.6 billion in net earnings, double the $3.3 billion it posted in the same period last year. 

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