Following strong profits in 2022, UnitedHealth Group (“United”) again reported strong profits for the first quarter of 2023, with double-digit revenue growth at both UnitedHealthcare and Optum. UnitedHealthcare’s first quarter revenue growth was 13% and Optum’s first quarter revenue growth was 25%. United’s first quarter results again beat analysts’ expectations.
United posted profits of $5.62 billion for the first quarter, up from $5.15 billion for the first quarter in 2022, a 9% increase. United also posted revenues of $91.9 billion for the first quarter of 2023, up from $80.1 billion for the prior year quarter, a 15% increase. As a result of its strong profits, UnitedHealth Group raised its full year net earnings outlook to $23.25 to $23.75 per share and its adjusted net earnings to $24.50 to $25.00 per share, up by 10 cents a share. .
The total number of individuals served by UnitedHealthcare grew by nearly 2 million more people than a year ago, with growth in both its commercial and senior health plans. UnitedHealthcare said that it expected to enroll more than 900,000 new Medicare Advantage members in 2023, exceeding its previous projections. A press release announcing its first quarter earnings stated: “UnitedHealthcare is pacing strongly to its outlook for another year of market-leading growth in serving more people through its Medicare Advantage offerings.”
United also reported a lower than expected medical loss ratio of 82.2%. The medical loss ratio measures the percentage of premiums spent on medical care. United’s lower than expected medical loss ratio means that it increased its profits by paying providers less for medical care than it expected.