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UnitedHealth (UNH) Woos MA Members With Updated 2022 Plans

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In an effort to lure Medicare Advantage (MA) members, UnitedHealth Group Inc. UNH, declared its 2022 MA and prescription drug plans. The company made its MA plan very attractive by bundling enhanced benefits and offering a hassle-free experience.

UnitedHealth is the leading company in the MA market and has currently more than 7.3 million people enrolled in its MA plans. In 2022, the company will expand its service area to reach 94% of Medicare consumers nationwide and maintain the industry’s largest Medicare Advantage footprint including 3.1 million more people in 276 additional counties with access to a standard plan.

This move is indicative of the company’s efforts to tap the growing MA market. Medicare trustees by their conservative estimates suggest that the MA enrollment will hit 31 million in 2026. The Congressional Budget Office predicts MA enrollment to surpass 37 million in 2026, which will equal half the Medicare enrollees.

Aging individuals favor MA plans when they turn 65 and more employers are shifting their retirees to MA plans.

UnitedHealth holds the number one spot in the for-profit or private MA market with other players like Aetna, a unit of CVS, Anthem Inc. ANTM, Centene Corp. CNC and Cigna Corp. CI following close.

UnitedHealthcare has had the largest share of Medicare Advantage enrollment since 2010. Its share of Medicare Advantage enrollment grew from 19% in 2010 to 27% in 2021.

The company is looking to expand its MA plans to 276 counties in 2022, which will retain its market dominance. A large market share with many of its plans carrying star ratings and new plan addition should fetch the company impressive membership growth.

UnitedHealth is a dynamic company, which has evolved constantly. Since the Affordable Care Act came into force in 2010 and put a number of restrictions on health insurers, UnitedHealth kept on modifying and diversifying its business to align with the changes in the industry and has emerged successfully over the past decade. An investor holding its shares for the past 10 years would have lapped a return of 766% compared with the S&P Index’s return of 288% over the same time frame.

The company boasts an exemplary earnings outperformance track record and a look at its past 28 quarters shows an earnings beat in each period.

Though past performances do not guarantee future results but the same does give a great deal of insights into the company’s ability to successfully navigate the ups and downs in the existent economy and business cycles besides its enterprise risk management skills and business resilience.

The stock has done well in the past and will continue to perform strongly in the future. Year to date, shares of the company have gained 11.4% compared with its industry’s growth of 10%.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research

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The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.



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