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UnitedHealth Group (UNH) Ties Up to Aid Medicare Members

·3 min read

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated UNH recently announced an extensive collaboration with Walmart WMT, the renowned operator of retail, wholesale and E-commerce stores worldwide, with an initial aim to benefit Medicare beneficiaries. The partnership, initially formed for a decade, will be effective in 2023.

The tie-up will enable the UnitedHealth Group’s subsidiary Optum to back clinicians at Walmart Health with analytics and decision support tools. This, in turn, is expected to extend holistic value-based care through Medicare Advantage plans across 15 Walmart Health locations in Florida and Georgia from the beginning of next year.

The collective prowess will also enable the partners to roll out a co-branded Medicare Advantage plan, UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Walmart Flex (HMO-POS), in Georgia from January 2023. The alliance also intends to tap the rapid transformation to quality value-based care that is underway in the United States by offering the above-mentioned plans and services to Medicare members under value-based arrangements.

In the days ahead, the tie-up plans to expand its reach to serve greater number of members and delve into newer regions. Initially aimed to benefit Medicare beneficiaries, the collaboration intends to gradually bring the members of commercial and Medicaid plans under its coverage. The commercial members of UnitedHealthcare’s Choice Plus PPO plan can leverage services under Walmart Health Virtual Care with convenience starting next year.

The recent initiative reinforces UnitedHealth Group’s consistent efforts to bring about improved health outcomes for its Medicare, Medicaid and commercial plan members. Such sincere efforts to come up with luring health plans contribute to membership growth and add strength to UNH’s Medicare and Medicaid businesses. Rise in membership usually contributes to the premiums of a health insurer that remain the most significant contributor to its top line.

Riding on well-performing Medicare and Medicaid businesses, UnitedHealth Group continues to devise cost-effective health plans and reach out to various parts of the United States. Contract wins and renewals only substantiated the credibility of UNH’s healthcare services.

Shares of UnitedHealth Group have gained 25.9% over a year compared with the industry’s rally of 24.4%.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Rank & Key Picks

UnitedHealth Group currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the Medical space are AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. AMN and Humana Inc. HUM. While AMN Healthcare currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Humana carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The bottom line of AMN Healthcare outpaced estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 15.66%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for AMN’s 2022 earnings indicates a rise of 40.2%, while the same for revenues suggests an improvement of 28.5% from the respective year-ago actuals. The consensus mark for AMN’s 2022 earnings has moved 0.9% north in the past 30 days.

Humana’s earnings surpassed estimates in each of the last four quarters, the average beat being 9.09%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for HUM’s 2022 earnings indicates a rise of 20.4%, while the same for revenues suggests an improvement of 11.9% from the respective year-ago actuals. The consensus mark for HUM’s 2022 earnings has moved 0.8% north in the past 60 days.

While shares of Humana have gained 16.9% in a year, the AMN Healthcare stock has lost 8.7% in the same time frame.

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