UnitedHealth, HCA See Profits From Obamacare

The giant insurer saw revenue growth from its Optum unit, which helped fix the federal health insurance website and has since been hired by several states. Meanwhile, the hospital company HCA Holdings Inc. said the health-care reform law contributed to sharply stronger results.

Bloomberg: Insurer That Fixed Obamacare Benefits From Business Boom
UnitedHealth Group Inc., the biggest U.S. health insurer by sales, beat analyst earnings estimates as revenue grew from its technology and consulting unit that helped fix the Obamacare insurance website. Revenue rose 7 percent to $32.6 billion, led by the company’s Optum unit, which works with hospitals, employers and governments to manage health costs. Optum has been credited with helping to fix the U.S. website for people to enroll in insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and has since been hired by several state enrollment websites. Sales there grew $2.6 billion, or 28 percent (Pettypiece, 7/17).

The Wall Street Journal: UnitedHealth Tops Expectations, Raises Outlook
UnitedHealth Group Inc. reported a better-than-expected increase of 7.1% in second-quarter revenue as the biggest U.S. health insurer saw growth in its public and senior markets. ... UnitedHealth, which is the biggest health insurer in the U.S., said impacts of the federal Affordable Care Act cut into its after-tax net margin for the most recent period by 90 basis points to 4.3%. This year will be the first to reflect the full implementation of the law, as cuts in government funding for certain provisions are projected to weigh on results. UnitedHealth credited growth in coverage in its public and senior sectors with helping to increase its top line, as well as improvement in its pharmacy services business (Calia, 7/17).

The Wall Street Journal: Hospital Operator HCA Touts Benefits From Health-Care Reform Law
HCA Holdings Inc. said admissions to its hospitals rebounded in the second quarter and greater-than-expected benefits from the health-care reform law contributed to sharply stronger results than estimated. "Results for the second quarter of 2014 exceeded our internal expectations, both in terms of our core operations and health-care reform," Chief Executive R. Milton Johnson said, while raising the company's outlook for the year as well (Jamerson, 7/16).

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