UnitedHealth Group, America’s largest health insurer, had a year marked by notable departures. Just weeks after its inclusion on last year’s Fortune 500, the firm left the industry’s largest trade group, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), asserting that the association had adopted a strategy “that does not fit UnitedHealth Group and our diversified portfolio.” More recently, the company announced that it would be leaving most of Obamacare’s statewide individual insurance marketplaces thanks to mounting losses. Both decisions speak to the insurance giant’s willingness to go it alone. That makes sense given its sheer size and the reach of its business–UnitedHealth has more than 100 million global customers. The insurer has also grown its health services platform Optum and pharmacy benefits unit OptumRx with major investments like the $12.8 billion buyout of Catamaran, as well as a recent mail-order prescription drug distribution agreement with pharmacy chain Walgreens which positions UnitedHealth as a competitor to CVS Health and Express Scripts.
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