UnitedHealth Group Incorporated | Impact of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in UHG's business at UnitedHealth Group Incorporated

AGM date
Previous AGM date
Resolution details
Company ticker
Resolution ask
Conduct due diligence, audit or risk/impact assessment
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI)
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Health Care
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
Resolved: Shareholders urge the board of directors to oversee a third-party audit analyzing the racial and ethnic disparities in UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s (United) business, and the effect of those disparities on United’s business. The report should include data on the extent of racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes of United’s membership across its government programs and commercial lines of business. The audit should be conducted by an independent third party with input from employees, customers, and other stakeholders and include efforts being taken by United to address such disparities and improve outcomes. A report on the audit should be prepared at reasonable cost in the next year, omit confidential and propriety information, and be publicly disclosed on United’s website.
Whereas clause
Whereas: According to the CDC, racial and ethnic minority groups experience higher rates of illness and death across a wide range of health conditions when compared to their white counterparts. Black and Latina women also face higher preconception and maternal health risks than other groups. A recent Deloitte study found racial inequities costs $320B annually in health care spending.[1] United, as the largest health insurance provider in the United States, providing health services to 150 million Americans, stands to benefit from addressing disparities in its own membership, and thereby reducing health inequities nationwide.
Additionally, mental health outcomes show significant racial disparities, particularly in Native American populations. In fact, Native Americans report experiencing serious psychological distress 2.5 times more than the general population over a month’s time. United provides behavioral health services to 43 million Americans and faces significant risk from racial and ethnic disparities in its behavioral health business, particularly in its Medicaid Managed Care business. One study reported 40% of nonelderly Medicaid adult members had a mental health or substance use disorder in 2020.[2]
In “Focusing on Health Equity Makes Sense from the Head to the Heart,” United stated that “working to address health disparities is not only the right thing to do but it can also be an effective cost-management strategy. In fact, employers with strong Environmental, Social and Governance agendas—which can include health equity efforts — have seen boosts in their bottom line, productivity and in their ability to attract and retain talent.”
Shareholders would benefit from disclosure and transparency into whether the company’s efforts to build health equity and reduce disparities are, in fact, reducing disparities in the care provided to United’s members. We believe that by reporting to shareholders about progress in the elimination of racially and ethnically disparate health outcomes in the membership, United can best serve its investors’ long-term goals and interests.
Accordingly, we urge United to conduct a third-party audit to examine the impact of its policies, practices, products, and procedures on reducing racial and ethnic disparities throughout its business.
Supporting statement

[1] https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/health-care/economic-cost-of-health-disparities.html
[2] https://www.kff.org/mental-health/issue-brief/medicaid-coverage-of-behavioral-health-services-in-2022-findings-from-a-survey-of-state-medicaid-programs/

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