United Healthcare Pays $2B After Change Healthcare Cyber Attack, Health Insurers Split Over the Relief

Written by Gabby Lee

March 20, 2024

United Healthcare Pays $2 Billion After Change Healthcare Cyber Attack, Health Insurers Split Over the Relief

Insurance industry executives and US health officials are optimistic that the impact of the Change Healthcare cyber attack is gradually diminishing, and the crisis is nearing its end.


During a conference call with health insurers on Monday, a US official stated that the United Healthcare cyber attack which occurred on February 21, is projected to result in hundreds of millions of dollars in expenses for the healthcare system.

The Change Healthcare hack disrupted the flow of billions of dollars in medical payments and placed many providers in a state of financial strain.

Fallout from Change Healthcare Cyber Attack Gradually Lessens

Senior officials from the Department of Health and Human Services informed reporters that insurers have successfully handled approximately 95% of the claims they had prior to the Change Healthcare ransomware attack that disabled Change Healthcare’s networks.

Efforts are now being made to address the challenges faced by small, independent medical practices in finding alternative solutions. Both US officials and insurers confirmed that patient care has not been disrupted by the Change Healthcare hack.

During the call with reporters, it was mentioned that a formal analysis of the anticipated cost of the Change hack has not been conducted by the US.

Additionally, government health programs are not expected to incur additional financial expenses as a result of advance payments made to medical providers.

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and other administration officials recently conducted a meeting with top executives from various insurance companies, including UnitedHealth CEO Andrew Witty, as well as leaders from trade groups.

UnitedHealth Services Expected to Resume Over the Week

Over the past month, insurers, doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies have been working diligently to address the consequences of the Change Healthcare cyber attack.

UnitedHealth, has reported progress in restoring its systems. As of March 15, the company has successfully restored its payments platform, as stated on its official website. However, the timeline for a complete system recovery remains uncertain.

The delay in payments has put some medical providers under financial strain as they try to replace damaged systems with alternative solutions.

UnitedHealth Pays $2B in Advance to the Effected

UnitedHealth announced on Monday that they have already provided over $2 billion in advance payments to medical providers affected by the Change hack. However, the company does not have an exact estimate of the total number of disrupted claims resulting from the cyberattack.

UnitedHealth, along with other insurance companies, has been facing increasing pressure from politicians and medical providers to enhance relief efforts for hospitals and doctors experiencing cash-flow disruptions.

According to Fitch Ratings, the disruption caused by the change healthcare hack could impact the credit profiles of smaller medical providers who rely on Change.

However, publicly traded companies with stronger credit are expected to have more flexibility. Insurer representatives mentioned that they have made significant progress in processing claims through alternative networks and facilitating the setup of workarounds for medical providers.

UnitedHealth has announced that it will be releasing new software to thousands of customers this week, which signifies continued efforts towards restoring operations.

Change Healthcare Update March 16: According to the latest Change Healthcare cyber attack update by Bloomberg, Insurers and health officials are expected to meet next week. Companies fear that push for payments can yield more complications. Continue Reading

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