UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Review

Fact Checked
Contributing Expert: Ron Elledge
Published: 2/26/2020

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Ron Elledge
Medicare Consultant and Author
Ron Elledge
Medicare Consultant and Author

Ron Elledge is a seasoned Medicare consultant and author of “Medicare Made Easy.” As a Medicare expert, he regularly consults beneficiaries on Medicare rules, regulations, and strategies.

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:

  • UHC Medicare Advantage Plans are available in 49 states
  • Largest Medicare Advantage network of doctors and specialists in the country
  • Many plans offer the Renew Active fitness benefit for seniors

The drawbacks of UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Plans:

  • Plans 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?

Medicare Advantage Plans, such as the ones offered by UnitedHealthcare, provide similar coverage to Original Medicare. If you’re enrolled in Original Medicare, you can switch to a Medicare Advantage Plan or from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare during specific enrollment periods. These Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as Medicare Part C, typically bundle in additional benefits not usually covered by Original Medicare, such as dental, vision, hearing, fitness memberships, and prescription drugs.

UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Plan Options

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

It’s a smart practice to compare UHC Medicare Advantage Plans before making a decision.

Plan name Monthly premium Annual deductible Office visits Telehealth Emergency room Annual maximum out-of-pocket costs
AARP Medicare Advantage Walgreens (PPO) $0 $0 $0 PCP/$45 specialist Speak to network telehealth providers $90 $6,700
AARP Medicare Advantage Plan 1 (HMO) $0 $0 $0 PCP/$45 specialist Speak to network telehealth providers $90 $5,700
AARP Medicare Advantage Plan 2 (HMO) $45 $0 $10 PCP/$40 specialist Speak to network telehealth providers $90 $4,700
AARP Medicare Advantage Choice (Regional PPO) $49 $0 $35 PCP/$65 specialist Speak to network telehealth providers $90 $6,700 in-network $10,000 combined in-and-out network
AARP Medicare Advantage Patriot (PPO) $0 $0 $0 PCP/$45 specialist Speak to network telehealth providers $90 $6,700 in-network $10,000 combined in-and-out network

*Based on pricing in Boston, MA

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.

The National Committee for Quality Insurance (NCQA) rates most UHC plans as fair to good, with several receiving a four or higher rating on a scale of five. Most have ratings between three and 3.5. All of UHC’s plans are NCQA accredited and have varying degrees of customer satisfaction, ranging from 1.5 to four.

UHC has a rating of four out of five stars with Consumer Affairs based on 1,825 reviews. Individuals who left a review with Consumer Affairs praised UHC for its customer service and widespread availability across the country.

Although UHC is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), it has an A+ rating. A total of 980 complaints have been closed in the last three years.

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