UnitedHealth 2Q13 Earnings Call Notes

posted in: Notes | 0

This post is part of a series of posts called “Company Notes.” These posts contain quotes and exhibits from earnings calls, conference presentations, analyst days and SEC filings. The quotes are generally pieces of information that I find interesting or helpful to understanding the company, industry or economy and are not meant to provide summaries of the full content of the call. Other posts in this series can be found by clicking here. Full transcripts can be found at Seeking Alpha.

“The collective performance of our diverse UnitedHealthcare and Optum businesses ultimately comes through in UnitedHealth Group’s strong overall results. As we indicated earlier in our commentary, UnitedHealth Group consolidated revenues grew 11.5% and net earnings grew 10% to $1.40 per share in the second quarter.”

“The next phases of the Affordable Care Act should bring growth and expansion in the Medicaid business, as well as to Optum and some meaningful financial challenges as well.”

“on the Medicare side, the challenge is intensified meaningfully and include nondeductible taxes combined with the continued significant underfunding of Medicare Advantage. We remain committed to Medicare Advantage as the most valuable and fastest-growing Medicare benefit offering available to American seniors.

By 2016, Medicare Advantage will, in effect, be reimbursed at parity with original Fee-for-Service Medicare. And at the same time, it will continue to deliver better benefits at lower costs because of effective medical cost management and far better consumer-focused services and technologies, none of which are present in the current Medicare Fee-for-Service system.”

“2016 should represent a final baseline pivot for Medicare growth for years to come, and America’s demographic trends are compelling. Well more than 3 million people will enter Medicare each year, and UnitedHealth Group is uniquely positioned to emerge as the market leader.”

“The depth of the underfunding of these benefits to seniors is causing us to exit certain market areas, reduce the number of plan offerings and reduce benefits in the majority of the local markets we serve commensurate with our review of the competitive position and long-term sustainability of our services for each individual market.”

“Even with these actions, we expect pressure on 2014 Medicare Advantage margin. The severe underfunding of the MA program for 2014, combined with the ACA tax impact and continued sequestration effects are too significant a burden to ask seniors to bear alone and still expect this important franchise to remain attractive to them.”

“Beyond Medicare Advantage and some remaining unknowns focused around ACA implementation in the individual and small group markets, we expect the general narrative of UnitedHealth Group’s performance for 2014 to be largely the same as 2013.”

“I think our outlook on Medicare Advantage in the long term is so positive because, in essence, we have to navigate through these next couple of years where some of the mechanical funding actions will take place. But even in those periods and those have been, in my view, in effect, Medicare Advantage has continued as a broad national program to prosper and grow. So I don’t know how it will play out in 2014 and ’15 as these elements play in on the funding — to get funding in essence to neutrality. But from 2016 forward, that neutrality should then baseline this program and it will be Medicare Advantage with its, I think, compelling advantages compared to the Fee-for-Service system. And we think the prospects for growth after that are quite compelling. That’s really what we’re trying to get across.”

“There’s also ongoing work in the commercial markets, with pressures on our own individual business, the continued market migration to lower price point insurance products and fee-based conversions. And those are all occurring kind of in the backdrop of a normal competitive dynamics intentions. We remain respectful of medical cost trends despite the success in keeping trends in check, and particularly, given the assured economic recovery. We need to make continued investments in Optum in the emerging categories of private exchanges, Medicare risk and revenue cycle, house calls, ever larger and longer-term care providers relationships, Optum cloud products, and in general, we are committed to continuing to fund ongoing innovation and adoption”

“n terms of, first, the delay of the employer mandate, we don’t really think that, that’s going to have a significant impact. Employers who currently offer insurance are going to continue to do that and that’s been the course of our discussions.”