- UnitedHealth Group issued a $357 billion to $360 billion projected revenue guidance for 2023, driven by growth in its Optum health services arm, according to reports released during the company’s investor day Tuesday.
- Optum is projecting $212 billion to $214 billion in 2023 revenues, up from an estimated $182.9 billion this year, with Optum Insight — driven by tools added by its merger with Change Healthcare — expected to average “double-digit revenue growth over the long term,” according to the company.
- The projected revenue growth comes after the Department of Justice announced this month that it would appeal a federal judge’s decision that allowed UnitedHealth’s $13 billion purchase of Change Healthcare to close in October.
UnitedHealth Group’s projected 2023 double-digit growth in revenue and profit comes as the company expects growth in its Medicare Advantage and commercial risk-based plans.
The health giant is projecting an additional 600,000 to 650,000 Medicare Advantage enrollees in 2023, up 9% year over year.
Its “strong local ground game, unique service model, captive clinical capabilities, coupled with a very strong track record for stability” underpin its growth outlook, according to SVB Securities analysts.
The company is also projecting growth of 200,000 to 300,000 in its risk-based plans, which is “likely attributable” to UnitedHealth’s Affordable Care Act expansion that now extends across 24 states and covers half of the current ACA market, according to SVB.
UnitedHealth expects a profit of between $21.7 billion and $22.3 billion in 2023 and expects revenue this year to be about $324.5 billion.
Projected growth in its Optum division is spurred by expected growth in Optum Rx, its pharmacy benefit management business, and its outpatient center arm.
In Q3, UnitedHealth raised its 2022 earnings and revenue guidance, driven similarly by an increase in members served through UnitedHealthcare and double-digit growth in Optum.
UnitedHealth now faces the DOJ appeal in its merger with Change. The DOJ announced it would appeal — in a notice joined by New York and Minnesota — more than a month after U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols ruled that the merger could go through. The wait prompted anti-trust experts to speculate whether the federal government would let the deal go through.
“After nearly two years of regulatory review, a full trial and a favorable court decision, we closed the transaction on October 3, and are executing on our vision to achieve a simpler, more intelligent and adaptive health system for patients, payers and care providers,” UnitedHealth said in an email to Healthcare Dive this month, adding that it considered the appeal to be “entirely without merit.”