Apr 15, 2020 - Health

UnitedHealth says delayed procedures "offsetting" coronavirus

A blue Brooklyn Hospital Center sign with people walking in front and the hospital in the background.

Hospitals have canceled elective procedures to prepare for COVID-19 patients. Photo: John Nacion/NurPhoto via Getty Images

UnitedHealth Group CEO Dave Wichmann told Wall Street analysts Wednesday that deferred non-urgent visits at hospitals and clinics are "offsetting COVID-19 costs," which helped the health insurance and services giant register a $3.4 billion first-quarter profit and temporarily keep its 2020 profit projections intact.

Between the lines: Health insurers aren't that worried about coronavirus costs yet. The groups that are in more difficult positions are people who are losing their jobs and health coverage and the medical providers who are losing business.

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