UnitedHealth Group Inc. is a diversified managed health care company headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota, U.S. It is No. 14 on theFortune 500. UnitedHealth Group offers a spectrum of products and services through two operating businesses: UnitedHealthcare and Optum. Through its family of subsidiaries and divisions, UnitedHealth Group serves approximately 70 million individuals throughout the United States. In 2011, the company posted a net earnings of $5.142 billion.
UnitedHealth Group is the parent of UnitedHealthcare, the largest single health carrier in the United States. It was created in 1977, as UnitedHealthCare Corporation (it was renamed in 1998), but traces its origin to a firm it acquired in 1977, Charter Med Incorporated, which was founded in 1974. More informally, it has its origins in the development of the HMO as a model for organized health care and in the work of spokesman Paul Ellwood.
In 1979, it introduced the first network-based health plan for seniors. In 1984, it became a publicly traded company.
In 2011, J.D. Power and Associates gave UnitedHealthcare the highest employer satisfaction rating for self-insured health plans. In a 2010 insurance industry publication, Business Insurance (magazine), UnitedHealthcare was named "Readers Choice" winner in 2010 for "Best health plan provider". In contrast, a 2010 survey of hospital executives who have dealt with the company, United received a 65% unfavorable rating. While this marks a 33% improvement over the prior year's survey, UnitedHealthcare still ranked last among all listed.