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UnitedHealth Group reports 10 percent profit increase for fourth quarter Posted: February 2nd, 2011

By Maryalene LaPonsie

One of the nation's largest health benefits and health services providers, UnitedHealth Group, reported 2010 fourth quarter revenue of $24 billion, a 10 percent increase from 2009. The company also saw annual revenue rise by 8 percent to $94.2 billion, according to a UnitedHealth Group news release.

UnitedHealth Group owns health insurance company UnitedHealthcare as well as the health services providers OptumHealth, Ingenix and Prescription Solutions. While all member companies posted an increase in profits, gains were largest for Ingenix which provides health care data management services. Revenue for that company increased 33 percent ($715 million) during the fourth quarter and 28 percent ($2.3 billion) for the year. Ingenix specializes in health care data management.

More than 37 million people receive health benefits from UnitedHealthcare's health insurance products, an increase of 1.2 million since 2009. The largest increase in membership came through UnitedHealthcare's Medicaid program which grew by 420,000 participants. Growth was also seen in the employer and individual markets, Medicare Advantage plans, Medigap supplemental health insurance and Medicare prescription drug plans.

Overall, UnitedHealth Group reported net earnings of $4.6 billion or $4.10 per share for 2010. It anticipates revenues will reach about $100 billion in 2011 with earnings in the range of $3.50 to $3.70 per share.