Some people prefer Medicare Advantage plans because many of these private insurance plans provide additional benefits beyond those received under Original Medicare parts A and B. This includes obtaining coverages related to dental, vision, hearing, and prescription drugs as well in a single convenient health insurance plan.
UnitedHealthcare is one such private Medicare insurance plan provider that has contracts with more than 1 million medical care professionals and 6,000 healthcare facilities nationwide. What types of Medicare Advantage plans does it offer?
UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Plans
Many of UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage plans are coordinated care plans, which means that each one has its own network of healthcare providers. The five Medicare Advantage options available through UnitedHealthcare include:
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Plans
These plans require that you select a primary care provider. This provider is responsible for coordinating all of your healthcare needs with other specialized providers within your specific network, and they will make a referral if it’s deemed necessary.
Point-Of-Service (POS) Plans
These types of plans provide the same type of benefits as an HMO, but they’re a little more flexible in that they give you a greater choice of providers while also allowing you to visit providers who aren’t within the plan’s network.
Private-Fee-For-Service (PFFS) Plans
This plan enables you to go to any medical provider who accepts Medicare and agrees to your particular plan’s terms and conditions regarding services and payment. Some PFFS plans offer a provider network and others do not.
Special Needs Plan (SNP)
Some individuals qualify for this plan. The four types of SNPs—they all also include prescription drug coverage with UnitedHealthcare—are:
- Dual-Eligible SNP: For those who have both Medicare and Medicaid
- Chronic SNP: For those with severe and/or disabling chronic health issues
- Institutional SNP: For those living in a skilled nursing facility
- Institutional-Equivalent SNP: For those living in a contracted assisted living facility who also need skilled nursing facility care
Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plans.
These combine a high-deductible health plan and a health savings account. Medicare deposits funds into the savings account, and they can then be withdrawn tax-free to help pay for certain healthcare expenses. Not all of these plans are available in all geographical areas, so this list may be more limited based on where you live. However, they all offer the same benefits as Medicare parts A and B, and most also offer additional coverages coverage related to prescription drugs, dental care, vision, hearing, wellness programs, and fitness memberships.
Medicare Prescription Drug Plans Offered by UnitedHealthcare
Regardless of which drug plan you choose, UnitedHealthcare says that your prescription-related costs will not exceed 37 percent for generic drugs or 25 percent for brand name drugs during the coverage gap
Neither Medicare Part A nor Part B provide prescription drug benefits. Therefore, this type of coverage can be obtained by either purchasing a Medicare Advantage plan that offers drug benefits or by buying a stand-alone drug plan. The three stand-alone prescription drug plans offered by UnitedHealthcare in 2019 are:
AARP MedicareRx Walgreens
This prescription drug plan is a good option for participants who prefer to fill their scripts at one of Walgreens’ 8,000+ locations (Note: they can also be filled at other pharmacies, just potentially at a higher cost). There is a $0 annual deductible for Tier 1 and 2 drugs and a $415 yearly deductible for drugs in Tier 3, 4, or 5 with this drug plan. If you fill your prescriptions in the pharmacy, copays are as low as $0. Home delivery is also a $0 copay for Tier 1 (generic) drugs.
AARP MedicareRx Preferred
According to UnitedHealthcare, this prescription drug plan provides the most extensive drug coverage and is generally preferred by individuals who want more flexibility in choosing their pharmacy. The deductible is $0 per year (except for participants in Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands, where the annual deductible is $415). If you use a preferred retail pharmacy, you can save 50 percent on copays. Purchase your scripts by mail and the copay is $0 for Tier 1 and 2 drugs.
AARP MedicareRx Saver Plus
With an annual deductible of $415, the AARP MedicareRX Saver Plus plan is designed for those who typically don’t have a lot of prescriptions but want lower copays (as low as $1 when filled in-pharmacy and $3 by mail) and access to a wide variety of pharmacies. Regardless of which drug plan you choose, UnitedHealthcare says that your prescription-related costs will not exceed 37 percent for generic drugs or 25 percent for brand name drugs during the coverage gap. Medicare.gov explains that this gap is also called the “donut hole.” It refers to the time period after you’ve spent your allotted amount per year on prescription drugs—$3,820 in 2019—and includes your deductible, coinsurance, and copayments. It does not include your prescription plan premiums.
UnitedHealthcare Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans
Some individuals decide to purchase a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan to help offset some of the expenses not covered by Original Medicare parts A and B or a Medicare Advantage plan. Currently, UnitedHealthcare offers eight different Medicare Supplement plans:
With rates as low as $107.84 per month, Plan A pays 100 percent of basic benefits. This includes benefits related to Part A coinsurance, Part B coinsurance and copayments, three pints of blood per year, and hospice coinsurance.
Plan B rates start at $150.72 per month and cover 100 percent of basic benefits as well as 100 percent of your Part A deductible.
Under the Plan C supplemental plan, you get 100 percent coverage of basic benefits and 100 percent coverage of your deductibles for parts A and B, too. This plan also covers 100 percent of your skilled nursing facility coinsurance and 80 percent of foreign travel emergency care during the first 60 days of trips outside the U.S. Rates start at $178.40 per month.
Under Plan F, UnitedHealthcare pays 100 percent of your basic benefits, Part A deductible, Part B deductible, Part B excess charges (the amount the healthcare provider is allowed to charge above the Medicare-approved amount), and skilled nursing facility coinsurance. It also pays 80 percent of foreign travel emergency care that is required within the first 60 days of international travel. Plan F rates begin at $179.04 per month and increase from there.
Purchase Plan G and you have 100 percent coverage of your basic benefits, Part A deductible, Part B excess charges, and skilled nursing facility coinsurance. It also covers 80 percent of foreign travel emergency care (in the first 60 days of travel). Rates begin at $153.44 per month.
If you’re looking for a supplemental plan available at a lower rate, Plan K starts at only $57.28 per month. With this plan, 100 percent of your Part A coinsurance is covered in addition to 50 percent of your coinsurances under hospice, Plan B, and blood—all with an out-of-pocket limit of $5,240 (as of 2018). Plan K also pays 50 percent of your Part A deductible and skilled nursing facility coinsurance.
Plan L rates begin at $96.32 per month and provide 100 percent coverage of Part A coinsurance. They also pay 75 percent of your coinsurances for Part B, blood, and hospice (with an out-of-pocket limit of $2,620 per year in 2018), and 75 percent of your Part A deductible and skilled nursing facility coinsurance.
When you purchase Medicare Supplement Plan N through UnitedHealthcare, your lowest estimated monthly rate is $120.96. This plan provides 100 percent coverage of your coinsurances for Parts A and B, blood, and hospice care, and your Part A deductible. It also pays 100 percent of your skilled nursing facility coinsurance and 80 percent of foreign travel emergency care obtained within the first 60 days of travel.
To purchase one of these supplemental Medicare plans, you must be an AARP member. And if you’d like to learn more about what each one is and how it may help you, UnitedHealthcare offers a variety of guides that can be used to help you better understand all of the Medicare Supplement plans provided:
- Your Guide to AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance Portfolio of Plans
- Choosing a Medigap Policy: A Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare
- Rules and Disclosures About Supplemental Insurance
UnitedHealthcare Exclusive Member Services
In addition to the coverage offered under each of the individual plans, UnitedHealthcare offers special services to individuals who purchase one of its Medicare plans. Among these “extras” are:
Not all of these plans are available in all geographical areas, so this list may be more limited based on where you live.
- 24/7 access to a registered nurse who is available to discuss any of your health-related concerns
- Phone access to wellness coaches who can create a customized program for you and offer support while reaching your wellness goals
- Membership discounts to various gyms and fitness centers
- Connection to community-level services, classes, and other UnitedHealthcare members
- Access to UnitedHealthcare’s online wellness resources, which includes helpful articles and videos
- Discounts on vision services provided by EyeMed, such as routine eye exams for $50 along with $50 off no-line multifocal lenses and frames purchased from LensCrafters
Before Deciding on a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Plan
UnitedHealthcare also offers a variety of tools and information that can make it easier for you to determine which type of Medicare plan is best for you.
For example, if you’re interested in learning more about how much your prescription drugs will cost you, UnitedHealthcare offers a Drug Cost Estimator. All you have to do is enter the prescriptions you take (including their dosages and frequency), select the pharmacy you use, enter your zip code, and you’ll be provided with a list of plans available in your area that offer coverage for those particular drugs.
Finding the UnitedHealthcare Medicare Plans Available in Your Area
To discover which UnitedHealthcare Medicare plans are available in your area, you can do an online search with just your zip code. The results are categorized based on whether the plan is a Medicare Advantage Plan, a stand-alone drug plan, supplemental insurance, or an SNP.
Click on “view plans” to see the ones you want. This will show you a more detailed list of the benefits offered by the plan, its premium amount, copays, and other information. You can also compare up to four plans and see them in chart format so it is easier to view their similarities and differences.
If you have additional questions or prefer to speak to someone before making your final decision, you can contact UnitedHealthcare at (855) 259-8119 (TTY 711) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week or request an in-person appointment with a UnitedHealthcare agent in your area.