United Healthcare Medicare Insurance Review

United Healthcare Medicare Insurance Review
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United Healthcare Medicare Insurance Review

United Healthcare Medicare Insurance Review
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UnitedHealthcare is a popular choice for Medicare—and for good reason. The company has many options, is available in all 50 states, and has a huge network of health care providers you can use. 

If you’re considering a UnitedHealthcare plan, this review will tell you everything you need to know about their Medicare offerings.

UnitedHealthcare Review

UnitedHealthcare is the largest health insurance company in the U.S. based on total sales and is a popular option for Medicare health insurance. 

In 2021, 7.2 million people in the U.S. were enrolled in one of its Advantage plans. This is significantly more than the second-biggest provider (Humana), which covered 4.8 million plans. 

About UnitedHealthcare
Headquarters Minnetonka, Minnesota
Founding Date 1977
Current CEO Andrew Witty
Coverage Areas All 50 States
Website https://www.uhc.com/
Medicare Members in 2021 7.3 million

One of the main reasons to choose UnitedHealthcare is its network of over 1.3 million physicians and health care providers. It also partners with around 6,500 hospitals and health care facilities. 

A downside is that plans can cost more than its competitors. The health insurance company’s overall Medicare consumer rating (known as star ratings) is also on the low side. However, both metrics vary significantly depending on the specific plan you choose.  

Benefits of UnitedHealthcare

✅ Well-established provider of Medicare and health benefit programs.

✅ One of the largest health insurance companies in the U.S.

✅ Offers access to a large network of healthcare providers.

✅ A variety of plans to cover people in all situations.

✅ Dental and vision coverage on some plans.

✅ Telehealth services and home benefits.

✅ Experienced and knowledgeable about Medicare matters.

✅ 76% of its members are on a UnitedHealthcare plan that received a 4-star rating or higher.

Shortcomings of UnitedHealthcare

❌Other health insurance providers may offer cheaper plans.

What Is UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Star Rating?

What Are Medicare Star Ratings?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) uses a star rating system to measure the performance of Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. The aim is to make it easy for buyers to compare the quality of the plans on offer.

Overall star ratings are also given to health insurance providers that offer Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans.

  • The rating for Medicare Part C considers 28 different factors.
  • The rating for Medicare Part D considers 12 factors.
  • The rating for Medicare Advantage Plans with Part D coverage considers 38 factors. 

Health insurance companies and their plans are rated on:

  1. How they keep their beneficiaries healthy (preventive services and other health benefits).
  2. How they manage long-term or chronic conditions.
  3. Their members’ experience (overall satisfaction).
  4. Member complaints (Complaints submitted, members leaving the plan).
  5. The plan’s overall customer service (call center services, processes claims and appeals, and enrollments).

UnitedHealthcare’s overall weighted star rating: ⭐⭐⭐½

Here’s what the different star ratings mean:

(No stars): New Plan

⭐: Poor

⭐⭐: Below-average 

⭐⭐⭐: Average 

⭐⭐⭐⭐: Good 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐: Excellent 

In 2021, the average star rating for Medicare insurance companies was 4.06 stars. UnitedHealthcare received an overall Medicare rating of 3.5 stars out of five

This rating is split into two parts: Health Plan Services and Prescription Drug Plan Services. Both services received overall ratings of 3.5 stars. 

This is the overall rating of the company. Individual plans have their own rating and many UnitedHealthcare policies are rated at four stars and above. You can check a plan’s star rating on the Medicare.gov website. 

Other Third-Party Ratings of UnitedHealthcare

Many other third-party services give ratings that you can use to measure the quality of an insurance company. It will be no surprise to learn that UnitedHealthcare, as one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S., generally scored well. 

Consumer Affairs

Consumer Affairs is a non-profit organization that collects customer reviews on companies in different industries. At the time of writing, UnitedHealthcare had a 3.8-star rating from 1,715 reviews.

It also noted the health insurance provider’s wide range of plans, options, and offerings for low-income beneficiaries as strengths.

JD Power

The 2021 JD Power Medicare Advantage Plan member satisfaction survey gave UnitedHealthcare a rating of 795 out of 1,000. This was slightly below the industry average of 806. 

2021 U.S. Medicare Advantage Study

AM Best 

AM Best is a global credit rating agency that provides financial strength ratings for major companies around the world. These ratings are a good indication of how well companies can meet their financial obligations and manage their finances. 

In December 2020, AM Best gave UnitedHealthcare a financial strength rating of A. This means that the company has a good financial outlook and it’s finances are properly managed.

How Does UnitedHealthcare Compare to Other Health Insurance Providers?

As one of the leading Medicare providers, UnitedHealthcare compares well to other health insurance companies. 

Here is how it matches up to the competition.

UnitedHealthcare vs. Aetna

Both UnitedHealthcare and Aetna are popular choices for Medicare Advantage. UnitedHealthcare is the number one provider in terms of overall plan sales, while Aetna comes in fourth. 

Aetna has a slightly higher Medicare star rating than UnitedHealthcare. In 2021 it was rated at four stars out of five, compared to UnitedHealthcare’s 3.5-star rating. However, you should remember that the star rating of individual plans in each county are different.

Both Aetna and UnitedHealthcare score similarly on third-party reviews. ConsumerAffairs gives Aetna a 3.9-star rating from 1,670 reviews, while UnitedHealthcare has a 3.8-star rating from 1,715 reviews. 

Both providers have a score of 795 out of 1,000 on the JD Power member satisfaction survey.

UnitedHealthcare vs Cigna

Cigna is a much smaller Medicare provider than UnitedHealthcare. It has around 2% of the market compared to UnitedHealthcare’s share of 27%. 

The smaller company gained an overall five-star rating from Medicare in 2021. This compares to UnitedHealthcare’s star rating of 3.5.

Cigna performed well on the J.D Power customer satisfaction survey. It received a rating of 822, slightly above the industry average of 806.

On ConsumerAffairs, Cigna has a rating of 3.4-stars from 284 reviews. This compares to UnitedHealthcare’s rating of 3.8 stars from 1,715 reviews.

UnitedHealthcare vs Kaiser Permanente

In 2021, Kaiser Foundation Health Plans were only available in 8 states and Washington D.C., while UnitedHealthcare offered insurance coverage in all 50 states and the capital.

According to JD Power, Kaiser Permanente received the highest customer satisfaction rank in 2021, scoring 846 out of 1000. In the same study, UnitedHealthcare scored 795.

In terms of new members, UnitedHealthcare enrolled 827,000 members in 2021, while Kaiser Permanente registered 59,000 new members in the same period.

Both companies have an extensive network of doctors and specialists and offer similar benefits to their members. But UnitedHealthcare offered a larger variety of plan options in 2021.

Overall, Kaiser Permanente received a 5-star rating in 2021, while UnitedHealthcare scored 3.5 stars. However, in terms of individual plans, UnitedHealthcare has 28 plans that were rated four stars or more.

Terms you should know -

Deductibles are amounts you have to pay for your prescriptions and healthcare before your Medicare policy covers your medical expenses. 

Coinsurance payments are costs that patients pay for medical treatment, services, and items. These are different for Medicare Parts A and B expenses.

Copayments or copays are set amounts that Medicare beneficiaries pay for medical services, tests, or items. These are set by your health insurance company.

Out-of-pocket expenses are the costs that your health insurance won’t cover. Deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments are examples of out-of-pocket expenses.

Medicare Advantage Plans Offered by UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare offers multiple Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as Medicare Part C plans. The options available to you depend on where you live. Each of the plans vary in terms of the costs, benefits, and structure of the health plan. 

A common benefit of these plans is prescription drug coverage. This helps cover the costs of drugs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover. It may also cover the cost of mail-order medication.

Other benefits to look out for include:

  • Hearing: Some UnitedHealthcare plans offer hearing coverage. This might include coverage for routine hearing exams and hearing aids with follow-up care. 

  • Vision: Some plans cover vision care, such as eye exams and prescription eyewear.

  • Dental care: Some plans include dental care. This may cover services such as exams, cleanings, and X-rays. You may have to use dentists within the plan’s network.

  • Telehealth: Many UnitedHealthcare plans cover members for virtual consultations through online platforms. These allow you to get medical health without leaving your home. Virtual healthcare providers include Teledoc Health and Doctor on Demand.

  • Fitness Programs: Some plans cover the cost of fitness programs or gym memberships.

  • Nursing Hotline: Some UnitedHealthcare plans offer members over-the-phone 24-hour access to a registered nurse. 

  • Meal Benefits: Some UnitedHealthcare plans provide members with meals immediately after a stay in hospital or skilled nursing facility.

There Are Five Main Categories of Medicare Advantage Policies

HMO Plans

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans provide health insurance via a specific network of healthcare providers. You’re only covered for service in-network.

HMO-POS Plans

HMO point-of-service (HMO-POS) health insurance plans cover some health care costs outside your network, but premiums and copayments are typically higher than on HMO plans. 

PPO Plans

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans allow you to see any provider that accepts insurance. You don’t need a referral from your primary physician to get specialist help.

PFFS Plans

Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plans allow members to see any health care provider enrolled in Medicare that accepts your plan. 

SNPs

Special Needs Plans (SNPs) are plans for people with specific needs or diseases. For example, people with chronic conditions or those that live in assisted living facilities.

How Much Do UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Plans Cost?

The cost of a UnitedHealthcare Medicare plan can vary significantly and depends on coverage, benefits, and location.

When calculating cost, you have to consider things like inflation and the overall amount you will pay for healthcare. A plan with a higher premium may be cheaper overall if the copay and deductibles are low, or if it offers more benefits and services. 

The table below highlights examples of UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage plans that are available for 2022 in New York County. 

All the plans listed below have a monthly premium of between $0.00 and $90.00. However, prices are subject to change and it’s best to speak with a licensed Medicare agent to find out what your Medicare Advantage coverage will cost.

Plan Name Is there a Monthly Premium? Copay Out of Pocket Maximum Prescription Drugs Tier 1 Copay Select benefits
AARP Medicare Advantage Prime (HMO) No Primary care: $5.00 Specialist: $45.00 $7,550.00 $3.00 Preventative dental, vision
AARP Medicare Advantage Plan 1 (HMO) Yes Primary care: $10.00 Specialist: $50.00 $7,550.00 $3.00 Preventative dental, routine eye exam
AARP Medicare Advantage Mosaic Choice (PPO) No Primary care: Up to $10.00 Specialist: Up to $50.00 $6,900.00 $0.00 Preventative dental, see any Medicare-enrolled doctor
UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Choice Plan 3 (Regional PPO) Yes Primary care: $0.00 Specialist: $40.00 $6,900.00 $0.00 Preventative dental, vision
UnitedHealth Healthcare Medicare Advantage Choice Plan 4 (Regional PPO) Yes Primary care: $0.00 Specialist: $30.00 $6,700.00 $0.00 Preventative dental, vision

**Prices and costs listed here are subject to change and should not be considered as the final amount you will pay for Medicare Advantage coverage. If you would like to find out what a plan might cost you, contact PolicyScout.

If you’re interested in finding a UnitedHealthcare plan in your county or have a question about getting Medicare cover, contact PolicyScout today on 1-888-912-2132. Our experienced consultants can assist you with your Medicare Advantage questions.

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Medicare Part D Plans Offered by UnitedHealthcare

Medicare Part C plans aren’t the only way to get coverage beyond what Original Medicare offers. 

Another option is to buy stand alone prescription drug coverage, known as Medicare Part D. These health insurance plans cover some medication that Original Medicare excludes. This typically means drugs that you administer yourself.

The benefits of Medicare prescription drug plans vary. Differences include the copay amount and where you can get your medications from.

Medicare splits drug coverage into five tiers. When choosing a health insurance plan, be sure to consider which tiers the drugs you need fall into. 

The cost typically increases as the level rises: while out-of-pocket expenses for tier-one drugs are often minimal, they can be significantly more in tier five.

Drug Coverage Tiers
Tier 1 Preferred generic drugs
Tier 2 Generic drugs
Tier 3 Preferred brand drugs and select insulin drugs
Tier 4 Non-preferred drugs
Tier 5 Specialty drugs

*Preferred - The brand is on your insurance provider’s formulary list. **Non-Preferred - The brand is not on your insurance provider’s formulary list.

How Much Do UnitedHealthcare Medicare Part D Plans Cost?

The amount you pay for a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Part D plan will depend on your location, the plan deductible, where you get your drugs from, and your copayment or coinsurance amount.

As an example, a person based in New York County can choose from three plans in 2022. The monthly premiums for these plans range between $30.00 and $120.00. However, it’s best to speak with a licensed Medicare agent to see what your Part D coverage will cost.

Plan Name Is there a monthly premium? Annual Deductible Tier 1 Drug Copay Tier 5 Drug Coinsurance
AARP MedicareRx Walgreens (PDP) Yes Tier 1: $0.00 Tier 2-5: $310.00 $0.00 27%
AARP MedicareRx Preferred (PDP) Yes $0.00 $5.00 33%
AARP MedicareRx Saver Plus (PDP) Yes $480.00 $1.00 25%

**Prices and costs listed here are subject to change and should not be considered as the final amount you will pay for Medicare Part D coverage. If you would like to find out what a plan might cost you, contact PolicyScout.

If you’d like to find out which UnitedHealthcare Part D plans are available in your county and what they might cost you, contact PolicyScout to get assistance. Send an email to Help@PolicyScout.com or call us on 1-888-912-2132.

Medicare Supplement Plans Offered by UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare also offers Medicare Supplement Plans (also known as Medigap plans). These health insurance plans help cover the additional costs of Original Medicare such as your deductible, coinsurance, or copayments. 

Remember, if you have Medicare Advantage or Part D coverage you cannot buy Medicare Supplement Insurance plans.

UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Supplement Plans in 2021

Benefits A B D G K L N
Medicare Part A Coinsurance and hospital cost up to an additional 365 days after Medicare Benefits are used 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Medicare Part B Coinsurance or copayment 100% 100% 100% 100% 50% 75% 100%
Blood (the first 3 pints) 100% 100% 100% 100% 50% 75% 100%
Part A Hospice Care Coinsurance or copayment 100% 100% 100% 100% 50% 75% 100%
Skilled Nursing Facility Care 100% 100% 50% 75% 100%
Part A Deductible 100% 100% 100% 50% 75% 100%
Part B Deductible
Part B Excess Charges 100%
Foreign Travel Emergency (up to plan limits) 80% 80% * * 80%

How Much Do UnitedHealthcare Medicare Supplement Plans Cost?

UnitedHealthcare offers Medicare Supplement plans A, B, D, G, K, L, N. The cost considers various factors such as your age, location, and the plan you buy. Plan prices typically range from just under $100.00 to $300.00 per month.

Here are examples of the options available to a 65 year old male living in New York County who doesn’t use tobacco. These prices do not include the monthly Part B premium (in 2022, the average monthly premium is $170.10).

Example - Medicare Supplement Insurance Rates in New York County

Medicare Supplement Insurance Monthly Premium
Plan A $169-$368
Plan B $226-$510
Plan L $181-$297
Plan D $391-$502
Plan K $86-$207
Plan G $268-$597
Plan N $190-$391
Plan F (High Deductible) $69-$91
Plan G (High Deductible) $69-$91

**Prices and costs listed here are subject to change and should not be considered as the final amount you will pay for Medicare Supplement Insurance coverage. If you would like to find out what a plan might cost you, contact PolicyScout.

If you’d like to find out what any of these UnitedHealthcare insurance plans might cost you, speak to one of our licensed Medicare agents. Contact PolicyScout by email at Help@PolicyScout.com or call us on 1-888-912-2132 today.

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How Do I Choose the Right Medicare Plan?

Choosing the right health insurance policy is tough. There are many types of plans, and each health insurance provider offers multiple options with varying degrees of coverage.

To choose the right plan, we first recommend researching your options. Once you understand the system, you can define your needs and compare plans that meet these requirements. 

If you’re thinking about joining Medicare Advantage, consider these points when choosing a provider or plan:

  • Price: Look at how much the plan will cost every month, if the policy is affordable, and if you can afford it if the premiums go up.

  • Benefits: Ask your Medicare insurance agent about the benefits you’ll get and look at the plan’s details to see if it will give you what you need.

  • Out-of-pocket expenses: Make sure you are aware of the potential costs in different situations.

  • Track record: Look at the insurance company offering the plan. Look at their membership numbers, the areas in the U.S., the company’s star rating, and how long they’ve been operating.

  • Compare: Look at a few different options before deciding on a specific plan. Speak with a Medicare consultant to help if you don’t know which plans are right for you.

Where Can I Learn More about Medicare Advantage Plans?

With over 3,100 Medicare Advantage plans on the market today, finding the right one for you can be difficult.

At PolicyScout our goal is to simplify Medicare, and we aim to inform and assist people with their Medicare-related needs.

If you’d like to learn more about the Medicare program in general, check out our Medicare Hub to research what Medicare is and find out the latest information about plans, enrollments, costs, and benefits.

Or reach out to our team of trained Medicare consultants to get personalized information on how you can get coverage that suits your lifestyle, medical needs, and finances.

Call us on 1-888-912-2132 or send us an email at Help@PolicyScout.com to get started.

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