UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Plans Review

Fact Checked
Medicare rating: 3.5 stars A.M. Best financial strength rating: A- BBB rating: A- NCQA rating: 4 stars Consumer Affairs rating: 3.8 J.D. Power ranking: 4th in the top 10

Quick UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Plans review: UnitedHealthcare plans are widely available across the United States, but some options may exceed your budget allowance for health care.

Established in 1977, UnitedHealthcare (UHC) is the largest health care insurance company in the United States, with estimated revenues of around $240 billion annually. UHC Medicare Advantage Plans are available in every state except Alaska.

UHC’s plans all offer extra benefits, frequently with zero premiums and no or low copays. Maximum out-of-pocket costs, however, can be higher than other plans. The insurer has a large selection of plans, but not every plan is available in every state. Take time to study the choices carefully before you decide on a UHC Medicare Advantage Plan.

Pros and Cons of UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Plans

What we like about UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans: The drawbacks of UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans:
  • Coverage available in 96 states
  • Largest Medicare Advantage network of doctors and specialists in the country
  • Many plans offer the Renew Active fitness benefit
  • Tend to be more expensive than other Medicare Advantage providers
  • Special Needs Plans (SNPs) are not available in every state

What Do UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Plans Cover?

Also called Medicare Part C, Medicare Advantage Plans combine Part A and B benefits with various extra services. Most UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Plans include:

  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Vision
  • Dental
  • Hearing
  • Wellness benefits, such as free gym memberships
  • Medical transportation (some plans)
  • Wellness over-the-counter medications (some plans).

If you have certain chronic medical conditions, such as cancer or Alzheimer’s, you may qualify for a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan that serves a specific population group. With Medicare Advantage, you continue to pay your Original Medicare premiums. In many cases, there’s no additional cost.

UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Plan Options

UHC provides several types of Medicare Advantage Plans, including HMOs, PPOs, and SNPs. Almost all of UHC’s Medicare Advantage Plans are offered through AARP. The company has connections to over 1.3 million physicians in the U.S. and partnerships with 6,500 hospitals and health care facilities. UnitedHealthcare HMOs often offer zero premiums and copays, but you’ll need to use in-network doctors. If you use out-of-network physicians, you’ll have to pay the full cost of care.

The PPOs offered by UHC normally allow you to use both in-network and out-of-network doctors. UHC will still pay for an out-of-network doctor visit but usually at a much lower rate, and you’ll have to make up the difference. Telehealth visits are often covered regardless of the plan you choose, but it depends upon your state’s regulations.

UHC offers two types of SNPs. C-SNPs are for chronic conditions. D-SNPs are for anyone dual eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

Compare UHC Medicare Advantage Plans before making a decision:

Plan name Monthly premium Annual deductible Office visits Annual maximum out-of-pocket costs
AARP Medicare Advantage Walgreens (PPO) $0 $0 $0 PCP/$45 specialist $6,700 in-network$10,000 combined in-and-out network
AARP Medicare Advantage Plan 1 (HMO) $0 $0 $0 PCP/$45 specialist $5,700
AARP Medicare Advantage Plan 2 (HMO) $45 $0 $10 PCP/$40 specialist $4,500
AARP Medicare Advantage Choice (Regional PPO) $55 $0 $15 PCP/$45 specialist $7,550 in-network $11,300 combined in-and-out network
AARP Medicare Advantage Patriot (PPO) $0 $0 $0 PCP/$40 specialist $6,700 in-network $10,000 combined in-and-out network

*Based on pricing in Boston, MA in 2022

UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Plans Reviews and Ratings

UnitedHealthcare plans generate positive reviews for the most part, with some exceptions. While UHC received high marks from several reviewers for the availability of their plans, responses from customers tended to be mixed.

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how Medicare, AM Best, the Better Business Bureau and more rate Unitedhealthcare Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare rating: 3.5 stars UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare plans received a 3.5 overall quality rating for their health and drug plan services in 2021 from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
A.M. Best financial strength rating: A- A.M. Best is a credit rating agency specializing in the insurance industry. In May 2021, A.M. Best affirmed its long-standing Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) for Unitedhealth Group.

An A- rating indicates an excellent ability to meet obligations.

BBB rating: A- UnitedHealthcare has an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau, although the company is not BBB accredited. There have been 856 complaints closed in the last three years, with 179 of those closed within the last 12 months.
NCQA rating: 4 stars According to the National Committee for Quality Assurance, overall satisfaction ratings for Medicare plans issued by UnitedHealthcare ranged from 3.5 to 4 stars. Highest scores were for prevention.
Consumer Affairs rating: 3.8 Consumer Affairs gave UnitedHealthcare a  rating of 3.8 stars in 2021 based on 1,891 consumer ratings and reviews. Reviews are mixed with some beneficiaries citing excellent coverage and responsiveness, and others citing difficulty with prior authorizations and claim denials.
J.D. Power ranking: 4th out of the top 10 In its 2021 Medicare Advantage Study, J.D. Power measured Medicare Advantage Plan satisfaction based on coverage and benefits, provider choice, cost, customer service, information and communication, and billing and payment. UnitedHealthcare scored 800 points out of 1,000 and came in fourth out of the top 10 Medicare Advantage providers.
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Medicare consultant and expert, seniors advocate, and author

Ron Elledge is an accomplished Medicare agent, planner, and author. Elledge earned a bachelor’s degree in Bible theology from International Seminary and spent 30 years in pastoral ministry. He began his current career in insurance with a specialty in Medicare in 2008 and has since authored “Medicare Made Easy: What Expats, Frequent Travelers and You Need to Know” and is often a featured speaker at the International Living conferences. Elledge is a contributor to International Living, supporting Medicare beneficiaries with articles, podcasts, and Q&As.

“A licensed seniors market insurance agent in Arizona and New Mexico, Elledge has helped thousands decipher the intricacies of Medicare rules and regulations, enabling them to make educated selections for their health care needs. As a world traveler with his wife, Shelli, Elledge specializes in Medicare for expats and frequent travelers. He’s up to date with Medicare regulations, coverage options, and enrollment protocols and is fervent in his resolve to present trustworthy data on this confusing and often maligned program.

“By obtaining dependable details on how to read their Medicare options, recipients can plan for it correctly and make the best choices,” says Elledge. “These choices often make a huge financial and emotional difference in their futures. When Medicare is correctly utilized, it becomes a powerful financial and medical tool for all who qualify.”

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