UnitedHealth tops profit forecast, finally hikes outlook

UnitedHealth Group beat forecasts for its earnings in the third quarter, and the U.S.'s largest health insurance provider finally hiked its 2020 outlook after holding off while trying to sort out COVID-19’s impact.

Both analysts and insurers have said they expected medical costs to rise in the second half of the year, as communities that had shut down opened back up and people felt more comfortable seeking elective surgeries.

UnitedHealth said Wednesday that both care patterns and prescription volumes approached normal levels in its recently completed quarter.

Based in Minnetonka, Minnesota, UnitedHealth Group Inc. runs a health insurance business that covers about 48 million people, mostly in the United States.

Its Optum segment also runs one of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit management operations as well as a growing number of clinics and urgent care and surgery centers.

Analysts expected, on average, adjusted earnings of $3.10 per share in the quarter on $63.79 billion in revenue, according to financial data provider FactSet.

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