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In 2020, Optum To Provide More Than 50% Of UnitedHealth’s Total Company Earnings

The rapid growth of UnitedHealth Group’s Optum health care services unit will contribute more than 50% of the company’s earnings in 2020, executives disclosed Tuesday.

Tyrone’s Commentary:

I’ve noticed a growing trend whereby non-fiduciary PBMs are offering $0 admin and/or $0 dispensing fees in their proposals. Additionally, these non-fiduciary PBMs are proposing a pass-through or transparent pricing model as requested by the broker or plan sponsor. How can a PBM be transparent or pass-through if there is no admin fee? How are they making money otherwise? Any reasonable definition of transparency requires that a plan sponsor know how much revenue a PBM is keeping for itself and the source of those revenues on a client specific basis.

UnitedHealth chief executive David Wichmann vowed at the start of the company’s annual investor day to continue the momentum and growth of the nation’s largest health insurer at a cumulative annual earnings growth rate of 13% to 16%. This means that the Optum unit will contribute more than 50% of total company earnings.


Optum will generate $112 billion in revenues in 2020, Wichmann said. UnitedHealth Group’s revenues will surpass $260 billion next year, the company has said. “With more than 50% of our earnings coming from Optum in 2020, it’s a good time to reflect on the accelerating impact diversification has had on the capacities of UnitedHealth Group, now a broad-based, health care company still in its formative stages of development,” Wichmann told the investor day attendees.

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Tyrone Squires, MBA, CPBS

I am the proud founder and managing director of TransparentRx, a fiduciary-model PBM based in Las Vegas, Nevada. We help health plan sponsors reduce pharmacy spend, by as much as 50%, without cutting benefits or shifting costs to employees.

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