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UnitedHealth sees pressures even as profits rise

Reuters, July 20, 2012

Insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N) on Thursday signaled that pressures on its health plans would not ease anytime soon as the government reins in reimbursement for Medicaid and Medicare and tough competition persists among plans serving employers. Shares of the largest health insurer by market value fell more than 3 percent after the comments to Wall Street, overshadowing UnitedHealth's higher-than-expected 6 percent rise in quarterly earnings and raised full-year profit forecast. Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hemsley told analysts on a conference call that there "continues to be more downward than upward pressure across the healthcare landscape."