UnitedHealth Group's urgent-care division is opening a dozen new centers in the state of Texas.

The Minnetonka-based company's MedExpress business announced this month the opening of two new urgent-care centers in Texas, plus plans for a third additional center in the state by October. The openings would bring the statewide total to 14 urgent-care clinics, up from two in Texas as of December 2017.

MedExpress is part of UnitedHealth's Optum division for health care services, which also runs two large medical groups in Texas and last year acquired a company with 20 surgery centers in the state.

"MedExpress is locating in Texas to bring our model of care to more patients and further support the Optum delivery network in that state," the company said in a statement.

UnitedHealth Group runs UnitedHealthcare, which is the nation's largest insurer, in addition to Optum, which operates a large pharmaceutical benefits management division as well as a business for health care IT, data and consulting.

The OptumHealth portion of the business provides care directly to patients and is poised to grow with a $4.9 billion deal announced in December for UnitedHealth Group to acquire DaVita Medical Group.

At an investor conference in May, UnitedHealth Group's chief executive didn't talk specifically about Texas or particular regions of the country, but cited a long-term goal for Optum to build care delivery operations in 75 target markets that serve 60 percent of the U.S. population. David Wichmann, the UnitedHealth CEO, said during the conference, "Our 32,000 employed or aligned physicians care for 15 million patients annually at OptumHealth."

UnitedHealth Group has a majority ownership interest in Texas-based WellMed, a medical group that employs more than 600 physicians in Texas and provides medical management services to about 14,000 physicians in Texas and Florida. In 2016, WellMed acquired another large medical group in Texas that's now part of the OptumCare group.

In early 2017, UnitedHealth Group acquired Surgical Care Affiliates, which regulatory filings for 2016 show had an ownership interest in 20 surgery centers in Texas. UnitedHealth acquired MedExpress in 2015.

"As of today, there are 11 MedExpress centers in the state [of Texas] with plans to open an additional center in Fort Worth and one in Arlington in the next two weeks," a company spokeswoman said by e-mail on Friday. "There are also plans to open a center in Irving this fall."

Christopher Snowbeck 612-673-4744 Twitter: @chrissnowbeck