With a wide variety of plan types and coverage options, United Healthcare is a major insurance carrier in the United States, offering multiple Medicare Advantage plans. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minnesota, United Healthcare and subsequently, “United Healthcare Medicare,” was founded only in 1977. It has grown considerably since then.
The company currently insures 70 million individuals throughout America. It’s also the parent of a variety of insurance companies, like United Healthcare. It is also the company that provides AARP with its own Medicare Advantage Program.
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Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) plans through United Healthcare provide the same benefits as Original Medicare. They include Part A and Part B, but they also have a few extra services included, like routine hearing and vision care. Some plans also include Part D or prescription drug coverage.
Most plans under UnitedHealthcare are with AARP. These plans have urgent care, worldwide emergency care coverage and annual out-of-pocket maximums to prevent you from over-spending and maintain your budget. There are also a lot of educational materials and videos on United Healthcare’s website. You can view all of the different Medicare Advantage plans, see tutorials or chat with an agent to get more help.
Most plans won’t cost anything more than what you already pay for Part B with United Healthcare. For this reason, they have some of the best services and prices for Medicare Advantage enrollees.
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United Healthcare Plans
United Healthcare Medicare HMO
With HMO plans through UnitedHealthcare, you receive service from a network of local providers and pick a primary doctor. You will need a referral for specialists. This plan is best for those who want lower copays and don’t mind limitations on doctors or hospitals.
United Healthcare Medicare POS
The point-of-service (POS) plan is like an HMO plan, but you can see providers for certain services outside of your preferred network. Referrals to specialists are necessary for most out-of-network coverage. Out-of-pocket costs will be higher for POS plans, but not as much as a PPO.
United Healthcare Medicare PPO
For PPO, you see a provider in or out of network. But you will pay more for those doctor and hospital visits that are not in your preferred network. You don’t need a referral to see a specialist.
United Healthcare Medicare PFFS
With a Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plan, you can pick in-network or out-of-network providers and hospitals, as long as they accept the plan’s terms and conditions. You don’t typically need a referral. These plans will have a lower monthly premium than other Medicare Supplement plans.
You can also get stand-alone prescription drug coverage or Part D from United Healthcare. This is a good option for those who have Original Medicare and don’t want to switch to Medicare Advantage.
Overview of UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage
United Healthcare offers a few different types of Medicare Part C plans. The company has designated plans for budgets with minimal healthcare costs. And, it offers plans that are being used consistently for inpatient visits. There are also plans specifically for those who need lower deductibles on prescription drugs.
Getting Medicare with United Healthcare
UnitedHealthcare offers plans in most states for a very low- or zero-cost monthly premium. You will still have to pay your monthly premium for Part B. But you won’t have to pay to get coverage through United Healthcare.
You can pick Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare supplemental plans and Medicare prescription drug plans through an online marketplace on UnitedHealthSolutions.com. These plans are available by ZIP code; this means that you’ll have to type in your ZIP code to see what’s available for you.
What does Medicare Advantage Cost in Your Area?
Benefits and Costs of United Healthcare Medicare
Most of the benefits for these plans will remain the same, but the copays and coverage for prescription drugs may change. Each plan includes services for Part A and Part B. However, United Healthcare does a great job of adding discounts for dental, hearing, vision and wellness.
These benefits include the following:
- Inpatient hospital services
- Skilled nursing facility
- Home healthcare
- Chiropractic services
- Outpatient mental healthcare
- Ambulance services
- Emergency care
- Outpatient rehabilitation services
- Alternative medicine
- Discounts for dental, vision and hearing services
- Fitness program
- 24-hour nurse help line
- Worldwide emergency care
- UnitedHealth Passport program
- Health screenings and preventive services
- Discounts for vision, dental and hearing
The extra services for Medicare Advantage with United Health are really important to customers. With the United Health Passport program, you care covered for certain medical costs while traveling out of network, even when you go out of the country. You also receive low copays for hearing aids from HealthInnovations.
United Healthcare Plans AARP
AARP MedicareComplete (HMO)
This plan provides medical insurance and Part D. You have access to a large provider network that allows you to pick and choose care providers and facilities from within the United Health preferred network. Preventive services and health screenings are provided, as well.
The company’s HouseCalls service provides an in-home visit from a healthcare practitioner for free.
This plan does not cover any out-of-network costs because it is an HMO. If you want to go to a doctor who isn’t in the network, then you will have to pay all costs yourself or switch to a PPO plan.
AARP MedicareComplete Choice Essential (PPO)
The essential plan doesn’t come with any drug coverage.
A variety of health screenings and preventive services are offered. You also don’t have an annual deductible with this plan.
AARP MedicareComplete Choice (PPO)
This is another United Health PPO, but it t does include prescription drug coverage. And, you don’t pay an annual premium for this prescription drug coverage.
United Health tries to provide all types of coverage to its members, but the plans are not as well detailed or clearly displayed online as they should be. For instance, other competitors list all of the benefits and costs in great detail. But it’s difficult to find this information on United Health’s website.
Stand-alone United Healthcare prescription drug plans
In addition to Medicare Advantage plans, United Health also has a variety of plans that are just for individuals who want Part D coverage and already have Original Medicare. These plans are a little bit more expensive than Medicare Advantage plans. But you don’t have to switch coverage if you already receive Part A and Part B from Original Medicare.
The right plan will depend on your budget and what your prescription needs are per month. Some of these costs are higher upfront, while others have an overall lower cost per prescription.
AARP MedicareRx Saver Plus (PDP)
This monthly plan’s drug lists include generic drugs covered by Medicare Part D.
AARP MedicareRx Preferred (PDP)
This plan has a higher monthly premium, but you don’t have an annual deductible.
AARP MedicareRx Enhanced (PDP)
If you are looking for discounts on specialty drugs, this is the best plan for AARP members. There’s no annual deductible. And, this plan has the biggest drug list with 95 percent of the generic drugs.
Other plans under United Health
United Health also has two other types of plans: Medicare Supplemental Insurance and Medicare Special Needs Plans. Supplemental insurance is just for those who have a coverage gap and are using Original Medicare. These are Medigap policies that help you take care of costs, like copays and other coinsurance.
You may qualify for Special Needs Plans (SNPs) under Medicare. United Health has a few different plans if you are eligible to receive benefits through this supplemental plan. These plans are both PPOs, which allow you to see doctors both in and out of the United Health network. Both plans include prescription drug coverage.
United Healthcare Medicare Rating
Last year, United Health had some issues with some of the doctors in its network. The company removed thousands of doctors who received bad ratings during the Medicare Program review. Currently, most of United Health’s Medicare plans have a 3 to 4 star rating. Most plans were not rated highly for customer service, long-term care or customer satisfaction. But plan ratings greatly depend on the region. For instance, 4-star plans are available in Florida, while the plans have a lower score in areas like Georgia and Missouri.
There are a generous amount of plans and lots of different stand-alone supplemental plans available. As such, United Health Medicare Advantage is one of the leading choices for people who are eligible, but want to get more services. The extra services allow you to really take healthcare anywhere you want to go. And, you also get some great extras, like fitness membership, hearing aids and prescription drug coverage.
United Health also provides a ton of information on its site for those interested in learning about how Medicare works and what Medicare Advantage is. The site gives you a visual walk-through of the different plans. Plus, it helps you to understand what Original Medicare is compared to Medicare Advantage. You also learn about different supplemental coverage policies that can help you fill in coverage gaps if you want to keep your Original Medicare plan.
It’s clear that United Health doesn’t place all of the details for their plans online. But you still get a good idea of what each plan offers. And, you can compare the different plans to one another to make the best choice for your medical needs and budget.
United Health also has a large network of healthcare providers, hospitals and pharmacies. This means that you can save a lot of money by choosing the HMO option for your Medicare Advantage plan. It’s best to compare each plan based on how the copays are distributed. If you can pay zero or low amounts monthly and annually, then you should check to see how much the copay is before you sign up for a Medicare Part C plan. United Health has a variety of plans that balance out the costs and make it easier to visit a doctor when you need to.