MINNETONKA, Minn. (AP) — UnitedHealth Group says it will raise its quarterly dividend 30 percent to 16.25 cents starting in June, about a year after it became the first large health insurer to start rewarding shareholders with a quarterly payout.

The Minnetonka, Minn., insurer says the dividend increase and a share buyback program reflect continued growth in both its benefits and services businesses.

Competitors WellPoint, Aetna and Humana also have launched quarterly dividend payments this year, after strong financial performances gave them a growing supply of cash to spend after stocking reserves for claims. Insurers have been helped in part by health care use that has grown at a slower-than-expected rate.

Last May, UnitedHealth became the first big insurer to announce a new quarterly dividend, when it launched a 12.5-cent payment.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (10)
  1. wtdbuck says:

    when they deny coverage they make more money. 10 years ago they payed out on 91 % of claims and now it is 79 %. they pay their CEO 100 million a year and say they are a health insurance company. i say they are a extortion company. they are not insuring your health that is for sure!

  2. solly says:

    The USA has the world’s most expensive health coverage and ranks only 37th in quality. Big business, including insurance companies, have both political parties in their back pockets, simply by giving large campaign contributions that guarantee votes in their favor.

    1. tuna-free dolphin says:

      Nice try. Our coverage is expensive because state and federal legislatures mandate coverage of every little thing, like infertility treatment, and rehab. Money grubbing lawyers run around encouraging people to sue doctors and hospitals and malpractice insurance premiums are through the roof so doctors can practice without being in constant fear, thence causing them to throw every test in the book at you to cover their arse. Then hospitals write off the cost of illegals coming in and pass those costs on to you. Insurance companies can’t compete across state lines causing dozens of mini-monopolies which drives costs up. BTW CEO salaries are the smallest part of insurance company profits. It may be a big number, but it’s dwarfed by the other skyrocketing costs that liberals have created. Also, people never fly to Sweden to get their socialized healthcare for a good reason. They come here from all over the world. You must have got your 37th in quality figure from the same outfit that says Cuba has a great system too. Thou fool, your “facts” are pure bovine scatology.

      1. M B says:

        Wow, I didn’t know the World Health Organization was so shady…

        And Cuba is only two steps below the US, so they’re not better, but neither are we by much.

        Of course, you could just be a corporate flag waver, blaming liberals for all your greed, because that’s SOP.

        I take it you’ve never been really ill, or else you’d know better. Why shouldn’t they cover little stuff, like rehab? If the person can’t get themselves stronger through physical rehab, how are they going to be able to become good hard working slaves like you need in your company? Or would you rather they stay dysfunctional and leech off the system? Then you can blame liberals for that too. I don’t think infertility should be covered though, they can pay for it themselves, just like ED drugs.

        I agree that lawyers shouldn’t be ambulance chasing and that malpractice should be limited, but everything else you wrote screams of, “you liberal commies will be the end of the world!” I’d like to see your facts, just like you claim of others, or else I’m liable to say your facts are fabricated as well.

        1. tuna-free dolphin says:

          I meant drug rehab, not physical therapy. You didn’t know WHO was a partisan (hard left) organization? Welcome to 2012. Non-partisan now is code for “hard left.” Unless you’ve been in a coma for about 20 years, are extremely naive, or are an avowed socialist, you’d have know that. Wake up, the liberals have been driving the healthcare bus for a while now. That’s the real crisis.

  3. Reasonable says:

    Always more important to pay your investors than your staff.

  4. Marcus Welby, M.D. says:

    Better to make a dividend for the shareholders than to actually do right by the patients. Talk about a “Death Panel” – it’s called the Board of Directors.

  5. JB says:

    The Pass through is 90% of the cost, so are you going to play the Obama “health care for all” card andy attack 10% of the problem or are you going to look at 90% of the problem, that being hte health care providers, hospitals, and governemnt mandates?

  6. GOPSUX says:

    I sure hope they raise premiums again.

  7. Mr. McGuire says:

    I don’t think they charge enough.

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