UnitedHealthcare vs. Humana

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • UnitedHealthcare and Humana are two of the largest health insurance companies in the U.S. How do these carriers compare, and which one might be right or your needs? Our review compares UHC vs. Humana and the Medicare plans they offer.

UnitedHealthcare is the largest health insurance company in the U.S. according to market share, followed not far behind by Humana.1 But how do these carriers stack up in terms of cost, customer service, market reach and other key criteria? And how do UnitedHealthcare Medicare plans compare to Humana Medicare plans?

Below we break down the comparison between UnitedHealthcare and Humana.

Pros and Cons of UnitedHealthcare

 

UnitedHealthcare Pros UnitedHealthcare Cons

Greater diversity of product offerings

Smaller provider network
More affordable Medicare plans Lower quality ratings
More robust member resources  


If you value plan selection, affordability and member resources, a UnitedHealthcare Medicare plan may be right for you.

Pros and Cons of Humana

 

Humana Pros Humana Cons

Larger network of participating providers

Fewer product offerings
Stronger quality ratings More expensive plans
Better customer service Fewer member resources


If a wide net of participating providers, high plan quality and strong customer service are important to you, a Humana Medicare plan may be your best choice. 

Product Offerings

UnitedHealthcare and Humana each offer a variety of insurance products including:

However, Humana stopped selling health insurance plans for individuals and families in 2018. The only way to enroll in an individual non-Medicare Humana health insurance plan now is through an employer. 

UnitedHealthcare continues to offer individual and family plans as well as Medicare insurance plans, and they also provide a number of supplemental policies not sold by Humana such as accident, critical illness, term life and hospital indemnity insurance.  

Advantage: UnitedHealthcare

Markets Served

While the selection of products will vary from one ZIP code to the next, Humana Medicare plans and UnitedHealthcare Medicare plans are available in areas of all 50 states and Washington D.C. 

Advantage: Tie

Provider Networks

UnitedHealthcare has one of the nation’s largest networks of participating doctors and health care providers at more than 53,000 members, which accounts for roughly 5% of all U.S. physicians. They’re aiming to add another 10,000 providers in 2021.2  

However, according to Doctor.com, Humana has more participating family doctors, internists, pediatricians, OBGYNs and surgeons than UnitedHealthcare.3   

Advantage: Humana

Company Ratings

UnitedHealthcare and Humana both maintain strong financial ratings from the nation’s leading credit rating agencies. 

UnitedHealthcare Credit Rating Agency Humana

A

A.M. Best

A-

AA-

Fitch

A

A1

Moody's

Baa3

A-

Standard's and Poor's

BBB+


Both companies have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Every year, Medicare evaluates plans on a 5-star rating scale. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rates all Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plan providers according to this scale.

For 2021, UnitedHealthcare received an overall rating of 3.5 stars, while more than 9 out of 10 Humana Medicare Advantage members are enrolled in a plan of 4 stars or more.  

Advantage: Humana.

Medicare Plan Costs

Comparing Medicare Advantage plan costs between two insurance companies is difficult. There are many variables that can affect a Medicare plan premium, such as the deductible and copayment amounts and the benefits included with the plan.

We recommend comparing plan quotes for a number of different Medicare plans where you live. Depending on where you’re located, you may have access to Humana Medicare plans and UHC Medicare plans that feature $0 monthly premiums and added benefits that Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) doesn’t cover.

Member Resources

UnitedHealthcare and Humana each provide a number of helpful resources to their respective members. Both companies have an online member portal to review benefits, check on a claim, pay bills, find doctors and pharmacies and more. 

And both companies go the extra mile by providing numerous health programs for members complete with tools, resources and rewards programs for tracking and achieving results, although UnitedHealthcare’s is a bit more robust.

Both companies have mobile apps available to members, with UnitedHealthcare’s receiving slightly higher ratings and reviews from users. 

Advantage: UnitedHealthcare  

Customer Service

UnitedHealthcare and Humana each have dedicated phone hotlines for help with their various insurance products, along with available support via social media. 

Humana supplements its customer service tools with an online support community and a live online chat feature, neither of which are available through UnitedHealthcare. 

Advantage: Humana

  1. Grones, G. (Feb. 3, 2020). Top 10 health insurance companies in the U.S. Insurance Business America. https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/us/news/healthcare/top-10-health-insurance-companies-in-the-us-212292.aspx.

  2. Tozzi, J. (March 5, 2021). UnitedHealth Chases 10,000 More Doctors for Biggest U.S. Network. Bloomberg. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-05/unitedhealth-s-deal-machine-scoops-up-covid-hit-doctor-groups.

  3. Doctors.com. Find Humana Health Doctors. https://www.doctor.com/insurance/Humana-Health-Doctors.

Christian Worstell
About the Author

Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for HelpAdvisor.com. He is passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of federal benefits and understand their coverage options.

His work has been featured in outlets such as VoxMSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and finance blogs.

Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He currently lives in Raleigh, NC.

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