Merger & Acquisitions Human Capital Integration Communications Introduction

This site introduces typical Human Capital employee communications for a merger or acquisition.

We time our communications around the key Human Capital milestones on this page. Click each milestone to see how.

Before you review these milestones, take a moment to read the team’s mission, scope, communications timing, and communications review process on the menu at top right.

Please do not share this website link with anyone without permission from your Human Capital communications team lead.

  • business handshake

    Both companies sign an intent to sell before the contract is executed, after which due diligence begins.

    At Signing

    Sometimes UnitedHealth Group and/or the acquired company announce the signing of the agreement to employees and the public.

    Public Communications

    These may include press releases and communications to key clients. Even when the signing is not made public, the acquiring business unit, such as OptumInsight or UnitedHealth Care Medicare & Retirement, prepares communications for media, vendors and other stakeholders in case news of the signing leaks.

    Employee Communications

    The acquiring business unit, such as OptumInsight or UnitedHealth Care Medicare & Retirement, may issue employee communications such as memos from leaders to the employees in the acquired business and all-employee meetings.

    There’s very little we can communicate to employees about the Human Capital integration, due to regulations, until the transaction closes.

    We do we provide Human Capital integration talking points like those below to our Human Capital Partner to use with the new company’s employees:

    • Our human capital work streams, such as health and wellness, payroll and compensation, are in the very early stages of planning your transition to employment with UnitedHealth Group.
    • While we can’t provide answers to specific questions about your benefits, compensation, etc. yet, you will receive many communications when our planning is further along.
    • We can assure you that there will be no break in coverage during your transition to UnitedHealth Group.
    • The communications will include an onboarding website for employees, frequent email updates, orientation meetings and more. We promise that you will receive information about any choices you will be asked to make, such as benefits enrollment, direct deposit, etc., well in advance of any deadlines.
  • watching a presentation

    When we complete all necessary regulatory reviews the contract is executed and the transaction is final.

    At Closing

    Sometimes UnitedHealth Group and/or the acquired company announce the closing of the transaction to the public through press releases and notifications to key clients. The acquiring business unit, such as Optum or UnitedHealth Care Community & State, handles these communications.

    Our team works with the business unit’s communicators to manage employee communications, such as memos from leaders to employees and all-employee meetings. The business unit’s communicators own the business integration messages (such as changes in leadership or reorganizations) and our team handles the Human Capital integration messages (such as health benefits and compensation).


    Regular Human Capital communications usually begin 12 weeks before the Human Capital integration date. We time the beginning of regular Human Capital integration communications based on:

    • Whether the Human Capital integration date is set and the amount of time before that date
    • What we know about the transition plans
    • Other factors unique to each acquisition


    Transition Update

    Our first Human Capital-only communication after closing is usually an email we call a transition update sent from the project’s Human Capital Partner. It welcomes the employees to the business and describes the Human Capital transition process and future communications.

    Either the business unit’s communicator sends it to the employees using an email list provided by the acquired company or we ask our Human Capital contact at the acquired company to send it to their employees from their mailbox.

    Here is a sample of this transition update.

    We send transition updates throughout the Human Capital transition.

    See examples of all Human Capital transition communications.

  • working on a computer

    After the Compensation team completes mapping positions at the acquired company with similar positions at UnitedHealth Group, they issue compensation letters to employees. They usually send these letters one month prior to the Human Capital integration date.

    Post-Mapping Transition Update

    Our team sends a transition update to prepare employees for the compensation letter, as shown in this example.

    See examples of all Human Capital transition communications.

    Employment Status Changes

    Sometimes the Compensation team determines that some exempt positions will change to non-exempt, and vice-versa, as part of the integration.

    The Compensation team works with the Human Capital Partner and the acquired company’s leaders to notify employees of any change to their employment status. They use communications that our team supplies which legal has carefully reviewed and approved to notify the affected employees and their managers.

    Compensation Letters

    After making the FLSA notifications, Compensation issues the welcome/employment offer letters to employees detailing each employee’s salary or hourly wage, title, bonus programs if eligible and any pre-employment screens, such as background checks, drug tests or tuberculosis (TB) tests. The letters contain instructions and deadlines for these screens.

    In a stock transaction, we call these “welcome letters.” In an asset transaction, we call these “employment offer letters.”

  • happy guy

    This is the date that the acquired companies’ employees join the payroll and benefits of and become part of UnitedHealth Group.

    The day of integration the business unit’s leadership may send welcome messages to the new employees. These are managed by the business unit’s communicator.

    Our team sends a congratulatory message from the Human Capital Partner with a reminder to follow the onboarding checklist, use the Hub, (UnitedHealth Group’s portal), and reach out to the HRdirect Contact Center with questions. See a sample of this transition update.

    Employees also begin receiving required training and news email messages from UnitedHealth Group and their business segment (Optum, UnitedHealthcare, etc.).

    See examples of all Human Capital transition communications.

  • webinar session

    Employees will continue to use the same log-in credentials and business applications to do their work until further notice. However, they must log into the UnitedHealth Group Intranet, the Hub, so they can perform Human Capital transactions like completing the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 and reporting and approving work time and paid time off.

    We provide detailed log-in instructions to help employees log into the Hub for the first time on the Monday after the integration date.

  • workers reviewing files

    All employees must complete an Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 to continue employment with UnitedHealth Group, even though they have already completed one with their current employer.

    Employees must complete a Form I-9 within their first three days of employment or their employment will be terminated. We communicate this deadline extensively prior to the integration date.

    We post instructional videos on the onboarding website for employees to follow when completing their I-9s and for managers or designated approvers to follow when approving the I-9s.

  • sitting on the couch

    Benefits enrollment typically begins the day after the Human Capital integration date and continues for 30 days.

    We provide extensive benefits communications and link employees to education resources leading up enrollment.

    The enrollment system sends a notice that benefits enrollment is open the day after the Human Capital integration date.

    Our team sends two reminders in the final weeks of enrollment to all employees to ensure that everyone understands the deadline and the consequences of not enrolling in benefits.

    We send these reminders to everyone, not just those who have not enrolled, because our Legal representatives have advised us that singling out those who have not yet enrolled may be a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) violation.