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UnitedHealth (UNH) Unit Adds Features to Surest Plans

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UnitedHealth Group Incorporated’s (UNH - Free Report) business UnitedHealthcare recently announced that its affiliate Surest, earlier known as Bind, has come up with enhanced health benefit plans that eliminate deductibles or coinsurance.

As part of UnitedHealthcare’s employer-sponsored plans, the enhanced Surest plans will also allow people to receive transparent pricing information on more than 490 services before availing the treatment. A diversified database can also help members make a comparative evaluation as a result of which they can opt for better treatment from high-quality care providers, yet bear reasonable out-of-pocket costs. Such clear information might save customers from receiving multiple bills or an unanticipated one.

Addition of these lucrative features is expected to increase enrollment within one of the fastest-growing employer-sponsored plans of UnitedHealthcare (Surest plans). The plans are extended to U.S. employers with self-funded health plans and those fully-insured customers of UnitedHealthcare, who have 51 or more employees across 11 states, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Minnesota. The plan package is expected to further widen its coverage by this year-end with the inclusion of five more states to expansively serve the fully insured customers of the UnitedHealthcare business.

Upgrades prevailing in the Surest plans also seem to be time opportune as more employers might be inclined to opt for these plans amid the 2023 enrollment season commencing from the fall of 2022.

Higher adoption of Surest plans is likely to augment the customer base and strengthen the nationwide footprint of the UnitedHealthcare business. A spike in membership should aid premium growth of UnitedHealthcare, which remains the most significant contributor to the revenue figure of UnitedHealth Group.

UNH has been working intensely for several years to expand access to care throughout the United States and eliminate hindrances in the way of members opting for care. It made various efforts in the form of partnerships or significant investments to bring about developments within its UnitedHealthcare business. Strength in the business fetched several contract wins and renewed agreements with UnitedHealth Group. Revenues from the UnitedHealthcare business exhibited double-digit year-over-year revenue growth in the second quarter of 2022.

Backed by the performance exhibited by UNH in the first half of 2022 and growth projections, UnitedHealth Group raised its earnings outlook for the full year while announcing its second-quarter results. Adjusted net earnings per share are projected within $21.40-$21.90, up from the previous projection of $21.20-$21.70. The midpoint of the updated outlook suggests a 13.8% improvement from the 2021 figure.

Potential Q2 Outperformers

Of the Medical sector players that have reported second-quarter results so far, the bottom-line results of Humana Inc. (HUM - Free Report) , Elevance Health Inc. (ELV - Free Report) and Universal Health Services, Inc. (UHS - Free Report) beat the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Humana reported second-quarter 2022 adjusted earnings per share of $8.67, which outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 13%. The bottom line improved 26% year over year. Revenues of HUM amounted to $23.7 billion, which improved 15% year over year in the second quarter. The top line beat the consensus mark by 1.2%. Total premiums of HUM climbed 11.5% year over year in the quarter under review, while the same from services increased nearly three-fold year over year.

Elevance Health’s second-quarter 2022 earnings of $8.04 per share outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $7.72. The bottom line improved 14.4% year over year. Operating revenues of ELV in the second quarter totaled $38,482 million, which rose 15.6% year over year. The top line beat the consensus mark of $38,120 million. As of Jun 30, 2022, medical enrollment of ELV amounted to 47.1 million, which grew 6.1% year over year.

Universal Health reported second-quarter 2022 adjusted earnings of $2.20 per share, which outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.8%. However, the bottom line plunged 41.5% year over year. Net revenues of UHS grew 3.9% year over year to $3.3 billion in the second quarter. The top line beat the consensus mark by a whisker. UHS’s total operating costs of $3.1 billion escalated 12% year over year in the quarter under review.