UnitedHealthcare Group’s quarterly profit skyrocketed after the insurance provider drastically downsized its participation in the Obamacare exchanges.
The company’s profit rose by 35 percent in the first-quarter of 2017, and expanded nearly every aspect of its operation, including its participation in Medicare Advantage and Medicaid plans, The Associated Press reports. In total, UnitedHealth brought in $2.17 billion in first-quarter earnings, with $48.72 billion in revenue. Shares of UnitedHealth are up 1.08 percent as of 2:12 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
UnitedHealth’s operating income also rose outside of its health insurance offerings. The company experienced a 16 percent bump in operating earnings from Optum, another facet of UnitedHealth. Optum provides it with pharmacy benefits management and technological capabilities, as well as a network of doctor and clinical offices.
Following what amounted to a $475 million loss from participating in the exchanges in 2015, UnitedHealth announced in April 2016, that it would back out of all but a “handful” in 2017. The group expected to lose as much as $800 million in 2016.
UnitedHealth is not alone. Insurance providers Aetna and Humana are also leaving the exchanges.
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