The Healthcare Breakdown: Unveiling the Tactics of Insurance Companies and the Role of UnitedHealth Group

Ben H.

Hatched by Ben H.

Jun 08, 2024

4 min read


The Healthcare Breakdown: Unveiling the Tactics of Insurance Companies and the Role of UnitedHealth Group


The healthcare industry in the United States is a complex web of insurance companies, healthcare providers, and patients. However, behind the scenes, there are hidden motives and strategies at play that directly impact the accessibility and affordability of healthcare. In this article, we will delve into two concerning aspects of the healthcare system - the reluctance of insurance companies to pay for necessary treatments and the growing influence of UnitedHealth Group in the physician landscape.

The Game of Delayed Payments:

With healthcare costs in the US skyrocketing to $4.3 trillion, it's no surprise that insurance companies play a significant role in this financial ecosystem. However, the disturbing truth is that five major health insurers rake in over $851 million, which accounts for a staggering 20% of the total. This amount represents cash received but not yet paid out - a game of delaying payments to maximize profits. The longer an insurer can hold onto these funds, the more money it can make. Unfortunately, this profit-driven approach directly affects patients who face denials for essential medical treatments, such as MRIs, medications, surgeries, and other medically necessary interventions.

The Power of Insurers as Gatekeepers:

To compound the issue, let's address the misleading term used to describe insurance companies - "payors." In reality, they act more as processors and gatekeepers. It's important to remember that the money being used for healthcare expenses is not theirs; it is the hard-earned money of the individuals paying for insurance. Insurance companies merely collect premiums and decide whether or not to approve claims. This power dynamic creates a situation where patients are at the mercy of insurers, their decisions, and their motivations.

UnitedHealth Group's Dominance:

The influence of UnitedHealth Group, one of the largest health insurance providers in the country, further exacerbates the challenges faced by patients. It is alarming to learn that this company now employs or is affiliated with a staggering 10% of all physicians in the US. With approximately 90,000 doctors under their umbrella, UnitedHealth Group has acquired or hired 20,000 physicians in just one year. This level of control over the physician workforce raises concerns about potential conflicts of interest and the influence of insurance companies on medical decisions.

Connecting the Dots:

When we consider the financial practices of insurance companies and the growing dominance of UnitedHealth Group, a disturbing pattern emerges. The profit-driven motives of insurance companies align with the growing consolidation of healthcare providers under the control of a few powerful entities. This combination creates a system where patients' access to necessary treatments is hindered, and medical decisions may be influenced by financial considerations rather than what is best for the patient.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Advocate for Transparency: As patients, it is crucial to demand transparency from insurance companies regarding their payment practices and coverage decisions. By understanding the motivations behind their actions, we can better navigate the system and fight for our rights to receive necessary treatments.
  • 2. Explore Alternative Insurance Options: While insurance is a necessity, it is worth exploring alternative insurance options that prioritize patient care and affordability. Consider community-based health insurance models or healthcare sharing ministries that align with your values and prioritize patient outcomes.
  • 3. Support Legislative Reforms: Engage with local and national initiatives aimed at reforming the healthcare system. Support legislation that promotes transparency, affordability, and patient-centered care. By raising our voices collectively, we can create meaningful change in the healthcare landscape.


The healthcare system in the United States is plagued by profit-driven practices and the growing influence of insurance companies. The tactics of delaying payments and denying necessary treatments negatively impact patients' access to vital healthcare services. Additionally, the dominance of UnitedHealth Group raises concerns about potential conflicts of interest and the erosion of independent medical decision-making. To combat these challenges, it is essential for individuals to advocate for transparency, explore alternative insurance options, and support legislative reforms. By working together, we can strive for a healthcare system that prioritizes patient well-being above all else.

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