CareSource vs. UnitedHealthcare (UHC)

In this article...
  • CareSource and UnitedHealthcare (UHC) each offer Medicare Advantage plans, while CareSource also offers Medicaid plans in several states. Use this review to compare CareSource vs. UHC to get an understanding of which insurance carrier may be right for your needs.

CareSource and UnitedHealthcare (UHC) each serve Medicare and Medicaid recipients in select parts of the country. But while these two companies serve many of the same demographics, they each do it in their own way.

CareSource and UHC each offer a type of Medicare plan called a Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plan, and they each also offer a special type of Medicare plan that’s specifically for people who have both Medicare and Medicaid, called a Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan (D-SNP).

Below is a look at CareSource vs. UHC to help you compare these two insurance carriers and help you find out if a Medicare Advantage plan from one of these companies might be right for you. 

CareSource was founded in 1989 with a focus on providing high-quality coverage to Medicaid recipients. Today, the company serves both Medicaid and Medicare consumers alike, with nearly two million members in five states.

CareSource operates as a non-profit organization.

UnitedHealthcare was established in 1977 and went public in 1984. Through years of mergers and acquisitions, UHC has today become among the largest health insurance organizations in the U.S., with dozens of affiliate companies and some 85 million members across the country receiving Medicare and Medicaid benefits along with group and individual health insurance plans. 

CareSource vs. UHC
  Pros Cons
CareSource

Affordable plans on the Marketplace, where affordable plans can sometimes be difficult to find


Serves a specific demographic in a targeted geographic area, offering options to people who may have few other choices for affordable coverage

Limited plan selection in a limited market


Lacks the demonstrated financial power of a larger company
Medicare plan Star Ratings are low, on average*

UnitedHealthcare (UHC)

Wide variety of plans


Coverage can be found almost anywhere in the U.S.


Medicare plans have above average Star Ratings*

Customers could potentially feel lost due to the large size of the company and the many different affiliates


Plan costs can be on the higher side in some areas


*
Every year, Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system.

CareSource vs. UHC: What Types of Plans Do They Offer?

CareSource offers several different types of insurance plans:

  • Individual health insurance on the Marketplace, sometimes referred to as Obamacare 
  • A Medicare Advantage HMO plan, a Medicare Advantage Dual-eligible Special Needs Plan (D-SNP) and a Medicare-Medicaid plan available only in select counties in Ohio. 

UHC offers a wide variety of insurance plans including Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, Medicare Supplement Insurance, Medicare-Medicaid plans, supplemental standalone plans such as dental and vision packages and health insurance plans for both groups and individuals. 

CareSource vs. UHC: Plan Reviews and Star Ratings

Both CareSource and UHC maintain A+ ratings with the Better Business Bureau. However, UHC maintains high ratings of its own with an AA- rating with Fitch Ratings, an A1 rating with Moody’s and an A ratings with AM Best.  

Each year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rates the quality of each carrier’s Medicare plans. In 2021, UHC received 4.5 stars out of a possible five stars. CareSource Medicare plans received a 2.5-star rating. 

Is a CareSource or UnitedHealthcare Medicare Plan Right for You?

UHC is a large company that serves customers all over the U.S. with a wide variety of high-quality plans. CareSource has a more limited service area in which its plans are offered, meaning that residents of only a few states are able to apply for a CareSource plan. 

But deciding which carrier to do business with is often less about which company is considered the best and more about which carrier more directly addresses your needs. CareSource may be a good option for you if you live where CareSource Medicare plans are available, particularly if you qualify for Medicaid benefits. UHC may be for you if you live outside the CareSource service area or if you’re looking for a wider variety of plan selection. 

You can compare Medicare Advantage plans available where you live, including D-SNP plans if any are available, by searching for plans online. You can also call to speak with a licensed insurance agent who can help you compare plans and enroll in one that meets your needs.

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