UnitedHealth care is one of the world’s leading health and well-being companies. It helps people from all over the world lead healthy lives. It also helps in making the health system work better for everyone. The company has two distinct platforms; United Health care and Optum, through which it serves its clients and consumers. The current essay explores the company’s background and how it has shaped its culture, reputation, and, market position.

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UnitedHealth Group Company Background

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The Early Years (1977-1979)
The company was incorporated in 1977 to take over and own Charter Med Incorporated, which was founded in 1974 to expand health care coverage options for consumers. In addition to traditional health care coverage services and products, the company introduced innovations such as pharmacy/drug formularies, mental health/chemical dependency intermediaries, hospital admission pre-certification processes, and physician office software that helped in the management and control of costs. It also introduced the first network-based health plan for seniors besides experimenting with offering private-market alternatives for Medicare. The early years helped shape the company into what it is today. It established its culture of innovation, which is a recurrent aspect throughout its history, during this period.

The 1980s
The company achieved various milestones in the 1980s. It went public in 1984. It also continued to invent new products and services during this period. For instance, it introduced EverCare, which helped coordinate care for people in nursing homes, in 1987. In 1989, the company launched the transplant network. The network was aimed at helping customers identify the programs with quality physicians and facilities. It is during this period that the company realized the importance of entering new market segments before competitors do. It sold various unpromising businesses for which it entered the market too late. It also underwent a restructuring process during this period.

The 1990s
The company continued to grow through the introduction of new products and services and to expand through the acquisition of other companies during this time. It introduced a report card that helped track health care access, quality, and cost in 1992. It began its expansion in the mid-1990s. For instance, it acquired the MetraHealth Companies Inc. in 1995 for $1.65 billion. The company’s first significant success was achieved in 1997 when the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) selected it to provide health coverage services for its members.

UnitedHealth care embraced technology, particularly the internet, in the 2000s. It also invented new products and services, as well as acquired a lot of new customers during the period. It launched a website,, in 2000. The site made it possible for customers to access health care, order ID cards, and to check the status of their claims over the internet. In 2001, it launched a web-enabled technology that helped simplify and improve services for physicians. Additionally, the company introduced a web-based distribution portal that helped serve small business brokers. In 2002, it launched web-based information products such as the Galaxy clinical database, which made it possible for clients to obtain clinical and financial information. The products also helped physicians to improve their delivery of health care services and administration. Other internet and computer-based inventions during the period included electronic medical cards that made the verification of patient eligibility and benefits easy, enhanced card technology that combined health benefit and financial information on a single highly portable card, and the telehealth network that made it possible for clients to access physicians through remote video technology.

The company also introduced new plans to increase its coverage of the market. For instance, in 2004, it introduced consumer-driven health plans to attract employer groups’ clients. In 2007, it introduced products that helped consumers manage their health care. In 2008, it introduced a plan to cover persons with Alzheimer’s and chronic dementia and the Continuity product that made it possible for clients to acquire health policies for use in retirement, in self-employment, or unemployment.

The innovations and products introduced during this period helped the company cement its market position and status. They helped it acquire additional clients. For instance, it helped it attract customers from among physicians, small business brokers, and individual clients. Additionally, they helped broaden the company’s relationship with AARP.

The company has continued to innovate and develop new healthcare products and services in recent times. For instance, it prepared and introduced hearing devices in 2011 and launched a health care cost estimator in 2012. It launched a mobile application that helps consumers to shop for medical services in 2014. The company has been rewarded for its continued innovation. It was recognized with the Outstanding Corporate Innovator Award in 2011 for its sustained innovation in new products and services.

The company’s culture of innovation has been a constant part of its history. The company has continued to invent new products and services throughout its history. The inventions have played a significant role towards the company’s current market position and status as one of the world’s leading health and well-being companies.