HEALTH PLANS: United swallows Definity

Possibly also to be headlined, Dotcom survives and makes good! For a mere $300m UnitedHealth Group has bought CDHP player Definity Health which gives United a platform into the self-directed consumer plan world. Hard to tell exactly how much cash Definity has gone through, although they raised some $45m by the end of 2001 and their web site says that they’ve had $70m invested. So it’s not a terrible return if that’s all that went in. Apparently they have some $100m a year in revenues, although whether that is just ASO fees or includes premium revenue is unclear (I’d hazard a guess at the former).

Either way United is not just buying revenue, they must believe that they’re getting a platform which would take too long for them to build themselves. Definity for its part has obviously decided that waiting for more organic growth in the big group HSA/CDHP market is going to take too long for them to go the IPO route and a bird in the hand…

But this is at least one vote for the self-directed plan having a future. And if it’s a total bust…..well at a mere $300m it’s not Aetna-US Healthcare all over again.

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