UnitedHealth Group posts quarterly profits of $4.1 billion

The Minnetonka-based health insurance giant is Minnesota's biggest company.
UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group, Minnesota's biggest company by revenue, has posted third-quarter profits of $4.1 billion.

The Minnetonka-based health insurance giant reported its latest results Thursday, revealing that it increased its revenues to $72.3 billion in the three months to the end of September, an 11% rise compared to the same quarter in 2020.

Of that, its net earnings are listed at $4.086 billion. The company also bought back $1.1 billion worth of its own shares and returned $1.4 billion to shareholders via dividends in the quarter, a 16% increase in its dividend compared to a year earlier. 

The company and its subsidiary Optum between them employ 340,000 people, of which 18,000 are based in Minnesota. It has seen its business continue to boom despite the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, UnitedHealth says its revenue grew by 6% to $257.1 billion, and it's well on its way to beating that this year, with its total revenue as of Sept. 30 standing at just under $214 billion.

To put this in perspective, Minnesota's second-largest company by revenue, Target, posted revenue of around $94 billion in 2020.

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

While health insurers continue to post hefty profits, medical costs remain a leading cost pressure on American households.

A 2017 study by the Journal of General Internal Medicine estimated that 137 million adults were struggling to pay medical bills. It found that 17.4% of households with health insurance have medical debt, and 27.9% of households without insurance.

Those with health insurance have medical debt averaging almost $19,000, while it's almost $32,000 for the uninsured.

eHealth reports that in 2020, the average cost nationally for health insurance was around $5,500 annually for an individual, and just under $14,000 for a family.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves' defense fuels win over Pelicans

The Wolves' have bought in on the defensive end as part of a 2-0 start.

Minnesota Wild

Ryan Hartman's OT goal helps Wild stay undefeated

The Wild improved to 4-0 with a win over the Ducks.

Mar'Keise Irving / Gopher Football

Gophers pound Maryland to stay in Big Ten West race

Four different players scored a rushing touchdown in a 34-16 victory over Maryland.

Father Paul Kubista at St. Mary of Czestochowa

Controversy after Delano priest shares vaccine misinformation in church bulletin

Father Paul Kubista is pastor at St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church.


Mel-O-Glaze, DreamHaven Books robbed at gunpoint minutes apart

The businesses were hit by three robbers just six minutes apart on Oct. 21.

Cambridge house explosion

Explosion destroys house in Cambridge, 5 injured

The explosion occurred early Saturday morning on the 33000 block of Hillary Circle.


Charges: Lyft driver sexually assaulted woman in her home

The defendant is being held on a $100,000 bond.

Pixabay - black bear

Black bear bites professional baseball player in western Wisconsin

The former MSU-Mankato star was bitten in his back.

mickey moore driver's license shared

Beleaguered Ward 9 city council candidate loses Strib endorsement

Mickey Moore has faced questions in recent days about where he actually lives.


UnitedHealth posts big third-quarter net income

Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group's third-quarter net income jumped 23 percent, beating expectations, as preparations for retiring Baby Boomers started to pay off for the nation's largest health insurer, the Associated Press reports. UnitedHealth also raised its 2012 earnings forecast.

UnitedHealth will no longer keep discounts it gets from drug companies

It'll benefit 7 million Americans on fully-insured plans.

UnitedHealth reaches rare milestone

The Minnetonka-based health insurer brought in more than $100 billion last year. The Star Tribune reports UnitedHealth is among just 22 publicly traded companies and the first in Minnesota to reach that milestone. Read more ...