At UnitedHealth Group, our mission is to help people live healthier lives. To achieve this goal, we are focused on building a modern, adaptable, innovative and inclusive system of health care services.
Our scale and potential to improve health makes us one of the most visible stewards of America’s vast health care system. Entrusted with both important resources and responsibilities, we are involved on a daily basis in decision-making that has life-changing consequences for millions of Americans.
Everything we do is motivated by and springs from this position of trust and accountability. We work to bring greater quality, affordability, access and simplicity to the health care system – ensuring that the people we serve get quality care, as well as the guidance to make informed decisions about their care, health and well-being.
History & Innovation
UnitedHealth Group innovation: Making history by improving health.
Since its inception, UnitedHealth Group and its affiliated companies have led the marketplace by introducing key innovations that make health care services more accessible and affordable for customers, improve the quality and coordination of health care services, and help individuals and their physicians make more informed health care decisions.
1974: Charter Med Incorporated is founded by a group of physicians and other health care professionals who want to expand health coverage options for consumers.
1977: United HealthCare Corporation is created to reorganize the company and becomes the parent company of Charter Med Incorporated. United HealthCare introduces such health care innovations as pharmacy/drug formularies, hospital admission pre-certification processes, physician office software to manage and control costs, mental health/chemical dependency intermediaries (behavioral health) and an insurance wrap as one feature on top of traditional HMO products.
1979: United HealthCare Corporation introduces the first network-based health plan for seniors and participates in the earliest experiments with offering private-market alternatives for Medicare.
1984: United HealthCare Corporation becomes a publicly traded company, specializing in technology and service systems for health care.
1988: United HealthCare creates the modern pharmacy benefits management business, linking benefit design with retail pharmacy networks and mail service through its subsidiary, Diversified Pharmaceutical Services Inc.
1992: United HealthCare is the first company to produce a Report Card on health care access, quality and cost measures.
1994: Diversified Pharmaceutical Services Inc. is sold to SmithKline Beecham Corporation for $2.3 billion.
1995: The company acquires The MetraHealth Companies Inc. for $1.65 billion. MetraHealth was formed by combining the group health care operations of The Travelers Insurance Company and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.
1996: The company’s patented artificial intelligence system AdjudiPro®, which is entered into the permanent research collection of the Smithsonian Institution, is awarded the CIO Enterprise Value Award.
1998: United HealthCare Corporation becomes known as UnitedHealth Group and launches a strategic realignment into independent but strategically linked business segments — UnitedHealthcare, Ovations, Uniprise, Specialized Care Services and Ingenix.
The first release of Clinical Profiles(sm) takes place. Clinical Profiles, produced by Ingenix, provides network physicians with data comparing their clinical practices to nationally accepted benchmarks for care.
1999: UnitedHealthcare introduces Care Coordination(sm), which eliminates prior authorizations and channels those resources into consumer and physician outreach for people who will benefit most from coordinating fragmented care delivery resources.
2000: UnitedHealthcare launches myuhc.com®, which enables individual customers to order ID cards, check the status of claims, and access relevant health information online.
2001: UnitedHealthcare uses Web-enabled technology to simplify and improve service for physicians, enabling them to check benefit eligibility for patients and submit and review claims. The company also launches a Web-based distribution portal to serve small business brokers.
2002: Ingenix introduces new knowledge and information products – including Parallax i™, iCES™ and the Galaxy clinical database – that help clients gain clinical and financial insights and improve the quality of health care delivery and administration.
2003: Uniprise introduces electronic medical ID cards that use magnetic stripe technology and the MasterCard® system and network to make it easy to verify patient eligibility and benefits in seconds.
2004: UnitedHealth Group launches iPlan® HSA, a product that integrates a high-deductible health plan with a health savings account, for employer groups. The product is offered through the company’s UnitedHealthcare and Uniprise businesses. Golden Rule, a subsidiary of UnitedHealthcare, offers HSAs to individuals.
2005: Ingenix is selected by the FDA for drug safety monitoring and support. The Ingenix program includes extensive data resources and analytic capabilities to help the FDA accelerate the identification and assessment of issues and potential risks related to pharmaceutical agents.
2006: UnitedHealth Group introduces enhanced card technology that combines health benefit information and financial information on a single card. In addition to multiple accounts, the new cards also provide access to an individual’s Personal Health Record, making critical health information highly portable.
2007: UnitedHealth Group extends and broadens its relationship with AARP for an additional seven years to include Medicare Advantage, Part D and Medicare Supplement products across all markets, as well as new health and wellness solutions to address AARP members’ individual needs.
More than 5 million Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. These consumers have saved $30 billion in out-of-pocket expenses over the first two years of this program.
UnitedHealthcare introduces innovative consumer-driven products that enable individuals to take a more active role in managing their own health care.
2008: Across UnitedHealth Group, more than 2.7 million individuals are now enrolled in consumer-driven health plans connected to an HRA or HSA, spanning both the commercial and individual markets.
Health-care-related financial account assets held by OptumHealth Financial Services reach more than $650 million.
UnitedHealthcare’s Premium designation program recognizes physicians for meeting quality and cost efficiency criteria across 20 distinct medical specialties and is available to consumers in 38 states plus the District of Columbia. Twenty million of our consumers have access to Premium physician designation information in their markets, and consumers in 85 percent of our markets have access to differentiated hospital quality and efficiency data online through our Hospital Comparison Tool.
UnitedHealth Group introduces the first Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan for people with Alzheimer’s and chronic dementia.
The company is the first to adopt National Comprehensive Cancer Network standards for determining chemotherapy drug coverage as part of its commitment to best science.
UnitedHealthcare achieves accreditation in all of its HMO markets nationwide for the National Committee on Quality Assurance’s (NCQA) three quality distinction programs, most recently the Quality Plus Distinction for Physician and Hospital Quality.
OptumHealth launches myOptumHealth.com, a health information Web site that provides consumers with free access to clinically reviewed, easy-to-understand and actionable content, tools and resources.
Golden Rule launches UnitedHealth ContinuitySM, a product that allows consumers to apply for and lock in health insurance while they are healthy, but not use the coverage until they retire, become self-employed, unemployed, or move to a job without health benefits.
2009: UnitedHealthcare launches the first-of-its-kind Diabetes Health Plan for individuals afflicted with diabetes and pre-diabetes. The plan includes incentives to empower individuals to more effectively manage their conditions, and control health care costs for their employers.
OptumHealth introduces eSync, a new technology platform that collects and synchronizes individualized health care data to help identify effective care opportunities and provide people with personalized health management support. The technology helps organizations more proactively engage individuals and care providers with appropriate health care opportunities, while reducing costs.