UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jan 15, 2020 • 08:45 am ET

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UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Q & A
Operator
Operator

[Operator Instructions] We'll take our first question from Justin Lake with Wolfe Research. Please go ahead.

Analyst
Justin Lake

Thanks, good morning. Wanted to ask about the quarter in terms of medical cost, looks like it came in better than you expected versus the update at the Investor Day any color there specifically, if you can expand on what's -- how you're seeing kind of Medicaid progress from a cost and risk pool rate perspective as you kind of come into 2020 that would be really helpful as well. Thanks.

Executive
David S. Wichmann

John Rex.

Executive
John Rex

Hey Justin, good morning. Yeah, I think I'd point out a few things here. You're correct, we did come in just a little bit better than our guidance at the Investor Conference. And if you think that -- first I'd call it broadly across the businesses as we continue to see the impact of the affordability initiatives that we've been very focused on, having traction and having impact. So broadly across that I think it's fair to say also that we certainly did see some continued improvement in our Medicaid businesses. It's a place that we've been, that we've been focused on for a while here and that was also contributor. But broadly, I'd say across our businesses as we saw those affordability initiatives having traction.

Executive
David S. Wichmann

Thank you, Justin. Next question please.

Operator
Operator

Our next question from A.J. Rice with Credit Suisse. Please go ahead.

Analyst
A.J. Rice

Yeah, it's just -- it sounds like on the call today you are reaffirming your expectations around Medicare Advantage enrollment. Obviously CMS has come out with their January numbers, it looks like in terms of the percentage enrolled in January, you're little bit lighter than you were a year ago. I don't know if that's a fair comparison, but I wondered is there anything in the data that's -- I don't know if you have looked at what they put out that is missing from your perspective. I know it shows you down in group MA and maybe you're going to pick up and group MA. But just flesh out a little further what group MA over the course of the year would anything to reassure us about your expectations around MA for this year?

Executive
David S. Wichmann

Thanks A.J. You know we're very pleased with our AEP results and I'd say is by far it's our strongest year ever in individual Medicare. We did reaffirm the guidance but near to the upper end of that guidance today. So we feel pretty strongly on -- with respect to our overall performance.

Tim Noel, can you add some color on some of the other questions?

Executive
Tim Noel

Yeah, good morning A.J. Thanks for the question. In first half, some of that CMS partial AEP reporting can be a little bit misleading. And Dave said you know first and foremost, want to reiterate the confidence in our full year enrollment growth that we shared at Investor Conference for MA. And just to revisit that briefly, we said 500 to 550,000 in Medicare Advantage growth in