UnitedHealth projects major revenue boost in 2020 on the back of continued Optum growth

The outside of Optum's headquarters
UnitedHealth Group reported earnings of $242 billion for 2019 backed by strong growth in its PBM subsidiary Optum. (UnitedHealth Group)

UnitedHealth Group projected it will generate $242 billion in revenue in 2019 and expects to report another 7% to 8% increase in top-line growth in 2020.

The insurance group presented updated figures during its investor conference that kicked off Tuesday with officials saying they expect to increase the company's 2020 revenue to between $260 billion and $262 billion. 

They project between $21 billion and $22 billion in operating earnings in 2020.

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In comparison, UnitedHealth Group generated $17.3 billion in profits on $226 billion in revenue in 2018. The company is projecting to report $19 billion in profits in 2019.

RELATED: UnitedHealth Group posts $5B in Q3 profit, boosted by double-digit growth rates at Optum

Optum is expected to continue to be a major growth driver for the company in its 2020 earnings projection, with UnitedHealth pegging growth to increase again between 13% and 14%. UnitedHealth executives said that Optum is expected to make up 50.5% of the company's total after tax operating earnings this year.. 

Optum could also be the key for UnitedHealth to improve its Medicare Advantage business.

"We don’t like being third, that’s fundamentally where we landed for the year," said UnitedHealth Group CEO David Wichmann, "Over time I think we will continue to grow and outpace the market."

Executives said that the key to growth is to keep its networks consistent as well as pharmacists and pharmacies consistent for seniors. 

"We believe we maintain in the Medicare market a strategic cost advantage because of the capacities we have as an organization," Wichmann said.

UnitedHealth pointed to the success of OptumCare, the company's primary and specialty care provider.  The highest performing Medicare Advantage plans were in markets that had an OptumCare presence. Wichmann said that growing the OptumCare platform is a majority priority for UnitedHealth over the next seven years. 

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