McGuire's lawyers had expected a federal district judge in Minneapolis to release the stock options after a shareholder lawsuit was settled UnitedHealth.
The suit stemmed from a stock options backdating scandal, in which McGuire played a central role. Last month, Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth announced a settlement calling for McGuire to give back $400 million in stock options and other pay.
But Judge James Rosenbaum has asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to clarify his authority to examine and possibly reject the settlement. And he also continued the freeze of McGuire's remaining stock options, valued at nearly $900 million.
Rosenbaum said McGuire could be personally on the hook for possible damages in a separate class action lawsuit, and so the funds should be protected. McGuire's attorneys have said he should have access to the money.