UnitedHealthcare Medicare Plans - Best 2017 Plan Options

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UnitedHealthcare Medicare Plans 2017 Review

  • Over 9 million Medicare enrollees1
  • Medicare plans sold nationwide
  • Advantage monthly premiums as low as $0
  • Denied claim percentage

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If you’re looking to learn more about Medicare Advantage and Supplement plans from UnitedHealthcare, look no further. UnitedHealth Group, UnitedHealthcare’s parent company, is the largest health insurer in the United States.2 Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to insurers. But the larger a company is, typically the larger its networks are and the more plan options they offer to members across the country.

On this page, you’ll be able to find information about each type of Medicare plan UnitedHealthcare sells, details about its Advantage and Supplement plans, the pros and cons of Unitedhealthcare, and the unique benefits its members have access to. All of this information should help you choose the right plan for you!

Pros & Cons of Choosing UnitedHealthcare Medicare

Pros

  • Huge provider network, including 1 million physicians and other health care professionals and about 6,000 hospitals and other facilities.5
  • Had a relatively low percentage of denied claims. In 2013, UnitedHealthcare denied 1.2% of claims, compared to Medicare’s 4.9%.6
  • Offers Part D & Advantage Plans in every state.
  • Sells one of the lowest-cost stand-alone Part D plans in the nation in 2017. The prescription drug plan has a premium of $22.40 in 20 regions and $22.50 in 14 regions.7
  • Offers a range of Advantage plan types, including PFFS and POS.

Cons

Special Plan Features and Benefits

Customer Service: You can easily find phone numbers and mailing addresses specific to your plan type on UnitedHealthcare’s “Contact Us” page. If you have an Advantage plan, you will need to call the phone number on the back of your member ID card.

Savings Through OptumRx®: By using your UnitedHealthcare plan’s preferred mail service pharmacy, OptumRx®, you could pay $0 for medication. For some plans, you can pay $0 for a 90-day supply of Tier 1 and Tier 2 medications if you use OptiumRx®. Even better, you don’t have to make time to visit the pharmacy!

There’s no charge for standard delivery to addresses in the U.S. and you can speak with a pharmacist over the phone any time and any day.

Health4Me Mobile Application: You can get access to your health information on-the-go with the Health4Me application. Using this app, you will have the ability to find local physicians, look at the status of a claim or ask a nurse any medical questions you may have 24/7.

Medicare Resources: UnitedHealthcare provides a variety of resources to those who are confused by Medicare or want to learn more about it. These resources include Medicare FAQs, videos, worksheets to help with decision-making, a glossary of definitions, and other helpful links.

Convenient Online Access to Your Plan: If you have a Medicare plan with UnitedHealthcare, you can easily access your plan information online when you sign into your account. In the “My Plans” dashboard, you will be able to manage your claims, order plan materials and access benefits and coverage, all from the comfort of your home.

Health and Wellness Information and Resources: UnitedHealthcare offers its members exclusive access to articles, videos, recipes and more to them you live a healthier life. Members will also get access to the latest health and wellness information with tools, online courses, and other resources.

Online Health Record: Plan members have the ability to keep track of their medical history with UnitedHealthcare’s online tool. Using this tool, you can update your personal health record with doctors, locations, claims, drugs, pharmacies, and more. You can also keep track of your vitals to ensure you’re on a healthy path and take quizzes and assessments to learn more about the condition of your health. Finally, you can receive reminders for important screenings and immunizations.

Types of Plans Offered

UnitedHealthcare offers four general types of Medicare plans:

Advantage Plans: Sold by private insurers, Advantage plans provide you with another way to get your Part A and Part B benefits, but may also offer additional coverage, such as vision, dental, and wellness programs. More specifically, UnitedHealthcare Advantage plans can include the following:

  • Part A benefits (Hospital insurance)
  • Part B benefits (Doctor coverage)
  • Part D benefits (prescription drug coverage)
  • $0 copayments for preventive services (All Medicare plans offer this)
  • Routine vision and hearing exams, hearing aids, fitness benefits

Supplement Plans: These private policies help you cover the costs you are responsible for paying after Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) pays for covered care. Supplement plans only work with Part A and Part B and can’t be used with Advantage plans. Under a Supplement plan, you can go to any doctor or hospital in the U.S. that accepts patients covered by Medicare.

Part D Prescription Drug Plans: These plans provide Medicare-approved prescription drug coverage. Part D plans from UnitedHealthcare can include:

  • Coverage for the the most common generic and brand name drugs.
  • Low copays if you visit a preferred retail pharmacy
  • Savings on prescription drugs if you use home delivery from OptumRx®

Special Needs Plans (SNPs): SNPs from UnitedHealthcare are designed for those who have special health care or financial needs. You must qualify for this type of plan. UnitedHealthcare’s SPNs may include:

  • Part A, Part B and prescription drug coverage
  • Services to help manage care
  • Routine dental and vision coverage
  • Financial assistance for buying things like first aid supplies, vitamins and dental care products
  • Assistance getting to and from your doctor and medical appointments

UnitedHealthcare sells Advantage and Part D plans in every state!

Medicare Advantage Plans

UnitedHealthcare sells Advantage plans in every state. In 2016, the insurance company had the highest number of Medicare Advantage enrollments in the U.S.3 Depending on where you live, you may be able to purchase a HMO, POS, PPO, or PFFS plan from UnitedHealthcare. You may find the insurance company’s plans under the brand names UnitedHealthcare, AARP, MedicareComplete, or other AARP brand names.

United Healthcare Placeholder
United Healthcare

In 2017, over 90 percent of people covered by a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plan and over 80 percent of those eligible for Medicare in its coverage area will have at least two choices for Advantage plans.4 The more options you have, the more likely you will be able to find the right plan for you.

Below, you will find details about the four types of Advantage plans that UnitedHealthcare offers. These plans may or may not be available in your area.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Plans

When you’re covered by an HMO plan, you usually have to get care from a specific list of providers, called “in-network providers,” to receive coverage. You may not have to see in-network providers for emergency, urgent or renal dialysis care. Under an HMO plan, you may need a referral to see a specialist.

You may want to consider a UnitedHealthcare HMO plan if you want to get the most value for your money. HMO out-of-pocket costs are typically lower than PPO and POS plans.

Point-of-Service (POS) Plans

POS plans are like HMO plans in that you typically have to see in-network providers and you may need a referral to see a specialist. However, you may be able to see out-of-network providers for certain services. Using out-of-network providers may cost more and may also require an authorization from the insurance company.

You may decide to choose a POS plan if you want to extend the value of your dollar, but also want the freedom to see out-of-network providers for specific services. POS out-of-pocket costs are generally higher than HMO costs, but lower than PPO costs.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plans

Unlike HMO and POS plans, PPO plans allow you to see out-of-network providers for any covered services. However, seeing out-of-network providers will usually cost more. You also don’t need a referral to see a specialist under PPO plans.

PPO plans may be a great option for people who want to be able to see out-of-network providers that accept Medicare and agree to bill UnitedHealthcare. PPO out-of-pocket costs are usually higher than HMO and POS out-of-pocket costs.

Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) Plans

UnitedHealthcare’s PFFS plans are strictly non-network. If you’re covered by a non-network PFFS plan, you can see any doctor or hospital approved by Medicare that accepts your plan’s conditions of payment and terms.

You may want to choose a PFFS plan if you would like more provider choices. Under a PFFS plan, your out-of-pocket costs for monthly premiums are usually less than other non-network plans, including Supplemental plans.

Supplement Plans (Medigap)

In addition to Advantage plans, UnitedHealthcare sells Supplement (Medigap) plans. The insurance company sells these plans under AARP brand names. You may be able to choose from AARP Medigap Plan A, B, C, K, L, N, and F plans, depending on where you live. While each lettered plan offers a different set of benefits, all are designed to help you pay for the out-of-pocket costs you are responsible for under Part A and Part B.

No matter where you live or which insurance company you choose to buy a Medigap plan from, the specific benefits each lettered plan offers will be the same. This is because Supplement plans are standardized across the nation. The only thing that varies from company to company or location to location is the cost of Medigap plans.

Supplement plans in Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin are standardized differently from the rest of the country. You can speak with one of our licensed agents to find out about the benefits of Supplement plans in these states. Want to learn more about your options when it comes to choosing Advantage and Supplement plans? Our licensed agents are here to speak with you. You can call a licensed agent at 855-802-1206 from 6am to 7pm MT, Monday to Friday and 7am to 5pm MT on Saturday. We are closed on Sunday.


Disclaimers:
You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium.

The data used in this map is pulled from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Medicare Supplement data. The average monthly premiums by state are referring to rates for Medicare Supplement Plan F only. The star-rating rankings are an aggregated score for Advantage plans available in each state. The rankings are accumulated by averaging county level star ratings for each company to provide one overall ranking by state.

Sources:

1 CMS.gov, “Monthly Enrollment by Plan – December 2016
2  Forbes, America’s Biggest Health Insurance Providers.
3  The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, “Medicare Advantage 2016 Spotlight: Enrollment Market Update.
4  UnitedHealthcare, UnitedHealthcare Medicare Plans
5 UnitedHealth Group, “Facts 2018 Q2
6 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “How do national health insurers compare on denying claims?
7 United Healthcare, “UnitedHealthcare Medicare Plans

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