UnitedHealth Group Owns a Bank With Deposits Surpassing a Billion – OptumHealth Bank FDIC Insured
Posted Jul 15 2010 6:32am
OptumHealth is an FDIC member and is a little unlike other banks in the fact that it is not a retail bank and focuses on HSAs, health savings accounts. This is perhaps one more side of United you may not have known about. Why a bank? It makes the deposit process from HSA’s easier with depositing and transferring funds with premium payments. Only 1/4 of the clients are individuals while the rest are employer based insurance clients with HSAs.
From the website:
“OptumHealth Bank, Member FDIC, is dedicated to health care banking. It is a leading administrator of health savings accounts (HSAs) for individuals and families, with more than 500,000 accounts. OptumHealth Bank also offers credit programs to individual account holders to help them pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses.
OptumHealth Bank is part of the financial services unit of OptumHealth, a health and wellness company serving more than 60 million people . OptumHealth is a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) company.”
Services are available to both individuals and employers and there’s a broker’s section for other needs. The company with subsidiaries is more than just providing straight health insurance and with algorithmic formulas set up to do transactions it becomes an add on type sale for those who are insured through United.
I don’t know how or if this fits into the medical cost ratios? How is a bank listed and being it is related to savings to pay for care, does it fall under healthcare services?
None of the insurers met the recent HHS deadline for submitting their medical loss ratio information and when you have a company such as United I can’t help but think this is very complicated and of course we want transparency with all the data reported correctly as last numbers I remember seeing showed that their ratio was at 69%, way below the 80% goal set by HHS. In California we have had a state law that required carriers to be at 80% or better for a few years, and how it is really enforced, I don’t know, but there’s a lot of algorithms at work here.
Today everything is not at face value with companies being bought and sold right and left with new types of subsidiaries working together with data in ways that have not been done in the past, so the legalities are complicated. BD
The success of the accounts means that UnitedHealth now owns a bank that is in the curious situation of having more than $1 billion in deposits, even as it doesn’t engage in any retail banking.
UnitedHealth established the bank (then called Exante) in 2003 as a way to simplify the financial side of health care for its customers. The bank opened its first HSAs in 2004, after Congress’ late 2003 passage of the Medicare Modernization Act which allowed for tax-exempt deposits and withdrawals for medical expenses.
OptumHealth offers three types of HSAs, as well as tax-advantaged health care savings and spending accounts, debit-card services, benefits administration services, and payment products. About three-quarters of the bank’s 1.6 million accounts are employer-generated, while the other quarter are individual accounts.