United Health Care

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The company United Health Care was started in the year 1977, and is known on the NYSE as UNH. It began as part of the acquisition of Charter Med, incorporated, and took off as one of the biggest health care insurance providers in the United States. UHC has served over 26 million customers, an impressive figure. In the year 1979, this company was the very first to give out a network-based health plan just for senior citizens, which led to it becoming a public trading company by the year 1984.


Changes came about in the year 1995 when this company bought The MetraHealth Companies Inc., for a staggering $1.65 billion dollars. This buy, started by combining two companies, the Travelers Insurance Company as well as Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, and merged them into one.

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The CEO of United Health Care from 1989-2006 was William McGuire. He stayed with the company during both easy and hard times, and was there for the changes that happened within the United Health Care Company. The annual revenue of $400 million was the figure for 1989, which only increased up to the year 2005. By this time, the company had grown so much that McGuire was personally earning $124 million in compensation. He was replaced in December of 2006 by Stephen Hemsley amidst rumors of backdating by journalists.

The takeover of Oxford Health Plans was accomplished by United Health Care in July of 2004. This big company also included smaller group contracts from UHC's contracts in New York. December 2005 brought about the addition of PacifiCare Health Systems, which was a 9.2 billion purchase. This enabled the company to add commercial health insurance businesses in both Arizona and Colorado. At the same time, this buy also ended the companies' network access to Blue Shield of California.

The recent purchase of Sierra Health services, which occurred in March of 2007, added more than 310,000 members from the city of Nevada as well as 320,000 people who are in both senior and government programs, all over the United States.

SEC Investigation

The United HealthCare faced difficulties in 2006 when they were investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. They were also investigated by the US attorney’s office for the southern District of New York, as well as by the IRS. A series of stories came about in May of 2006 from the Wall Street Journal when the issue of alleged backdating of hundreds of millions of dollars arose.

The Wall Street Journal stated that McGuire and the directors of the company knew of and approved of the backdating. McGuire was forced to resign. Major shareholders of the company filed lawsuits, including allegations against the New Jersey governor Thomas Kean, as well as United Health care’s other directors. Even more problems arose for United Health Care when the American Chiropractic Association filed a class citation lawsuit against them, claiming that they violated the federal RICO act.

More About

United Health Care is committed to the overall improvement of the health care system. Our aim is to find out what is wrong and correct it. However, we are prepared to lead a health care revolution as the strongest and most committed health care company in the United States. United Health Care has not only served over 26 million individual consumers, we also provide care for over 535,000 physicians and care professionals, and we are partnered with over 4,700 hospitals.

At United Health Care you will receive health-benefits, 24-hour customer service and support, and online resources for consumers, employees and doctors. You will get easier processes and fast results with the promises of United Health Care.

The Business Insurance Readers Choice awarded the company by making them the winner of the 2007 Best Managed Care Organization.