UnitedHealthcare Medicare Plans Review
UnitedHealthcare (UHC) offers Medicare Advantage plans, Part D prescription drug plans and Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans. Learn more about UnitedHealthcare Medicare plans, including what they cover and how you can find a plan that fits your unique needs.
UnitedHealthcare (UHC) is one of the two largest insurance companies in the world.1 So it stands to reason that millions of Medicare beneficiaries choose UHC for private Medicare insurance plans like Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans, Medicare Part D prescription drug plans or Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plans.
UnitedHealthcare is the health insurance arm of UnitedHealth Group. UnitedHealthcare offers group and individual health insurance and partners with more than 1.3 million doctors and health care professionals at over 6,500 facilities nationwide.
Those looking to get a little bit more out of their Medicare coverage may opt for a Medicare Advantage plan from UnitedHealthcare. These plans offer all of the same basic benefits as Medicare Part A and Part B, and most Medicare Advantage plans may also offer some additional benefits not found in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B).
UnitedHealthcare offers Medicare Advantage plans in partnership with AARP. Many UHC Medicare Advantage (also sometimes called Medicare health plans) plans may include coverage for routine dental and vision care, hearing aids, prescription drugs and more. Some of the additional features you may find in a UHC Medicare Advantage plan can include:
- Telehealth coverage so you can consult with a doctor right from home
- Discounts on numerous over-the-counter products and medications
- Memberships to fitness programs designed for older adults
- $0 copays on primary care provider visits, lab tests and most generic prescription drugs
- $0 monthly premiums
UHC offers several different types of Medicare Advantage plans. Selection and availability may vary by location, but the types of UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans you might be able to find could include some of the following types.
UHC Medicare Advantage HMO Plans
In an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) Medicare plan, you’ll choose a primary care physician who will coordinate your care and who can give you a referral for specialist care within the UHC network of participating providers. You are unlikely to receive any coverage from an HMO plan if you seek care outside of the plan’s network except for emergency medical care.
UHC Medicare Advantage PPO Plans
A PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) Medicare plan is similar to an HMO, but it can offer a little more flexibility to receive some coverage for care administered outside of the plan network and less reliance on a primary care physician. You’ll typically pay lower out-of-pocket costs for covered care, however, when you visit an in-network doctor or provider.
UHC Special Needs Plans
UnitedHealthcare also offers some Medicare Special Needs Plans (SNPs). These plans can be tailored to fit the specific health care needs of individuals with certain chronic health conditions or who are dual eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid or who reside in an assisted living or skilled nursing facility.
UHC PFFS Medicare Advantage Plans
Those in certain parts of the country may be able to enroll in a PFFS (Private Fee-for-Service) Medicare plan through UHC. These plans may not have a specific provider network like an HMO plan does, but the plan may instead reimburse health care providers who accept Medicare and who agree to the terms of the plan. This can give beneficiaries greater flexibility to use a greater range of doctors.
Beneficiaries who do not receive Medicare prescription drug coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan may be able to consider a Medicare Part D plan from UnitedHealthcare as an option. Part D plans provide coverage for prescription medications and can be used alongside Medicare Part A and Part B or alongside a Medicare Advantage plan that doesn’t already include Part D coverage.
UnitedHealthcare Part D plans – which are offered in partnership with AARP – can cover both generic and brand name drugs that range from popular and commonly used drugs to certain rare specialty drugs. As with all Part D plans, UHC uses a tier system to categorize drugs, and each tier may feature different deductibles or copay or coinsurance amounts.
UHC offers multiple Part D plans in many areas of the country. Depending on where you live, there may be a Medicare drug plan option with a higher monthly premium but no annual deductible and lower copayments. There may also be an option with a lower monthly premium but a higher deductible or copayments. Consumers can generally find a mix of options with UnitedHealthcare Part D offerings, and some of the features you might find include:
- Coverage at thousands of pharmacy locations including Walgreens, Walmart, Costco and more
- Increased savings at preferred pharmacy locations
- Mail order service with up to 90-day supplies of drugs delivered right to your home
- $0 copayments and deductibles for generic drugs
UnitedHealthcare Medicare Formulary
Medicare Part D plans feature a formulary, or a list of drugs covered by the plan. Part D plans from UnitedHealthcare can cover thousands of different drugs. You can use the Drug Cost Estimator tool provided by AARP Medicare Plans from UnitedHealthcare to search the drug plan formularies and find out how much your prescription costs might be.
UnitedHealthcare also offers Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plans in partnership with AARP. These plans help pay for some of the out-of-pocket Medicare costs that that you may face when you get Medicare-covered care, such as deductibles, copayments and coinsurance.
There are 9 different types of standardized Medigap policies provided by UnitedHealthcare. While the benefits of each type of plan are the same no matter where it is purchased (for example, Plan A in New York offers the same benefits as Plan A in Florida), not every plan is guaranteed to be available in every location.
The most popular Medigap plans sold by UnitedHealthcare are Plan F, Plan C and Plan G.
UHC Medicare Supplement Plan F
Medigap Plan F is the only type of plan to provide coverage in all 9 benefit areas covered by Medicare Supplement Insurance. However, federal legislation prevents anyone who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020 to enroll in Plan F. This means that if you first became eligible for Medicare after that date, you aren’t able to apply for Plan F.
If you were eligible for Medicare before 2020, though, you can enroll in Plan F if it’s available where you live.
UHC Medicare Supplement Plan C
Plan C offers almost exactly the same coverage as Plan F, with the only exception being that Plan C doesn’t cover Medicare Part B excess charges. Like Plan F, Plan C is also only available to those who became eligible for Medicare prior to January 1, 2020.
UHC Medicare Supplement Plan G
Plan G includes all of the same benefits as Plan F, with the only exception being Plan G doesn’t cover the Medicare Part B deductible. Plan G is not subject to the enrollment restrictions of Plan F and Plan C, so it remains a popular option across a wider spectrum of beneficiaries. This also means it is quickly becoming the most popular Medigap plan available to new Medicare beneficiaries.
Other UnitedHealthcare Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans
In addition to the three plans highlighted above, UnitedHealthcare also offers Plan A, B, D, K, L and N in certain locations. Plan M is the only Medigap plan not offered by UnitedHealthcare.
The chart below shows the complete benefits of each Medicare Supplement Insurance plan. Keep in mind that each type of plan listed may not be available where you live.
|Medicare Supplement Benefits||A||B||C1||D||F1||G||K||L||M||N|
|Part A coinsurance and hospital costs||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Part B coinsurance or copayment||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||50%||75%||✓||✓|
|First 3 pints of blood||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||50%||75%||✓||✓|
|Part A hospice care co-insurance or co-payment||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||50%||75%||✓||✓|
|Co-insurance for skilled nursing facility||✓||✓||✓||✓||50%||75%||✓||✓|
|Medicare Part A deductible||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||50%||75%||50%||✓|
|Medicare Part B deductible||✓||✓|
|Medicare Part B excess charges||✓||✓|
|Foreign travel emergency||80%||80%||80%||80%||80%||80%|
|1. Plans C and F are not available to new beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.
2. Plans F and G also offer a high deductible plan which has an annual deductible of $2,370 in 2021. Once the annual deductible is met, the plan pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the year. The high deductible Plan F is not available to new beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.
3. Plan K has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $6,220 in 2021. Plan L has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $3,110 in 2021.
4. Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to $50 for emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient admission.
View an image version of this table.
Every year, Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rates all Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans on a 5-star scale, and it also rates the insurance companies who provide these plans.
As such a large insurance company, members typically have little trouble finding a UnitedHealthcare Medicare provider no matter where they go, though you should check with your plan terms to find out which doctors and providers are covered by your specific plan network.
You can also use the UnitedHealthcare Find a doctor tool to search for doctors and providers to find out whether they are in your plan network.
It’s important to keep in mind that UnitedHealthcare Medigap plans are accepted by any health care provider who accepts Medicare.
Does UnitedHealthcare Medicare Cover Vision?
Many of UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage plans provide vision benefits that can include eye exams and coverage for eyeglasses and contact lenses. These plans may even include glaucoma screenings, yearly diabetic retinal exams and cataract surgery.
Does UnitedHealthcare Medicare Cover Dental?
Most UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans provide some dental coverage. The range of benefits may include:
- Annual exams
- Teeth cleanings and fluoride treatments
- Tooth extractions
- Fillings and crowns
- Emergency treatment
- Oral surgery
Does UnitedHealthcare Medicare Cover SilverSneakers?
UnitedHealthcare does not include coverage of SilverSneakers in its Medicare Advantage plans. However, UHC Medicare Advantage plans may include memberships for a similar program called Renew Active.
Renew Active is a fitness program with benefits for both the body and mind that can be accessed at thousands of gyms across the U.S.
If you already have a UnitedHealthcare Medicare plan and need help, you can call the number on your member ID card, or you can call 1-800-721-0627 (TTY 711) toll free from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT, 7 days a week.
1 AM Best Information Services. (Jan. 4, 2021). AM Best Ranks UnitedHealth Group and Allianz as World’s Largest Insurers. http://news.ambest.com/PressContent.aspx?altsrc=2&refnum=30256.