Richard T. Burke founded United Healthcare Corporation in 1977. During the same year, the company acquired Charter Med Incorporated, a company formed by several physicians and healthcare professionals in 1974 to provide a wider range of healthcare options to the average consumer. By 1979, United Healthcare launched the first network-based health plans for its senior clientele and pioneered in selling health plans to the private market for Medicare.
United Healthcare went public in 1984 and has grown in terms of investments and returns. The company also managed to acquire other companies through mergers and takeouts. Over the years though, United Healthcare was also pressed to sell some of its acquired assets to stay afloat. The Diversified Pharmaceutical Services, Inc., a pharmacy benefits administration company acquired in 1988, was sold to SmithKline Beecham Corporation in 1994 for $2.3 billion.
The following year, United Healthcare took The MetraHealth Companies for $1.65 billion. Under the terms of the acquisition, all companies that were held by MetraHealth will be incorporated to United Healthcare. Companies that were included in the merger were Travelers Insurance Company and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.more » « less