UPDATE 1-UnitedHealth membership increases, third quarter profit up slightly
Oct 17 (Reuters) - UnitedHealth Group Inc said on Thursday that its third-quarter profit rose about 1 percent, helped by the enrollment of an additional 275,000 people in its health insurance plans.
The company, the largest U.S. health insurer, reported earnings of $1.57 billion, or $1.53 per share, up from $1.56 billion, or $1.50 per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.53 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
UnitedHealth said it had narrowed its outlook for 2013 earnings to a range of $5.40 to $5.50 per share and forecast revenue of $122 billion. Analysts are expecting a profit of $5.51 per share and revenue of $122.7 billion.
UnitedHealth said it had 45.3 million people enrolled in health plans as of Sept. 30, helped by increases in individuals in government-paid programs such as Medicaid for the poor and Medicare Advantage for older people. Its international large-group business also expanded.