UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Reviews

United Healthcare is the largest Medicare Advantage provider, offering a wide range of highly rated plans across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
By . Last update: June 11, 2024

Many of the plans featured here are available through our partners who may compensate us for enrollments. This influences which Medicare plans we write about, but it does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Member opinions and comments are their own and do not express the views of MedicareWire. How we make money.

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UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Reviews
The UnitedHealthcare logo is a registered trademark of UnitedHealth Group Incorporated.

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) is the largest provider of Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans, offering a wide range of options designed to meet diverse healthcare needs. Known for its extensive network of providers and additional benefits beyond standard Medicare coverage, UHC’s focus is the overall well-being of its members.[1]

In this review, we’ll explore some of UHC’s top Medicare Advantage plans, focusing on their coverage, costs, and customer feedback. We will also compare their performance and benefits to other plans available in the market, including plans they market through AARP.

Table of Contents

Member Reviews for UnitedHealthcare

The following UnitedHealthcare reviews have been left by our members.

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PROS

  • Extensive Provider Network: Access to a large network of doctors, specialists, and hospitals nationwide.
  • Zero-Dollar Premiums: Offers $0-premium plans in many areas, reducing out-of-pocket costs.
  • Additional Benefits: Includes dental, vision, hearing, and prescription drug coverage not offered by Original Medicare.
  • Fitness Programs: Offers wellness programs and gym memberships through programs like Renew Active.
  • Telehealth Services: Provides access to telehealth services, enhancing convenience for beneficiaries.
  • Care Coordination: Some plans offer care management programs to help coordinate care and improve health outcomes.
  • HouseCalls Program: Annual health and wellness visits conducted at home to help manage health proactively.

CONS

  • Network Restrictions: Requires the use of in-network providers for full coverage, limiting flexibility.
  • Prior Authorization: Some treatments and services need prior authorization, potentially delaying care.
  • Plan Limitations: Certain benefits, such as dental and vision, may have annual limits or restrictions.
  • Geographic Availability: Plans may not be available in all areas, affecting beneficiary options.
  • Annual Changes: Plan offerings, including premiums and benefits, can change annually, impacting continuity.
  • Mixed Ratings: Customer service and care coordination ratings can vary, with some plans receiving lower scores.
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How Do UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Plans Work?

UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plan members get all their hospital coverage (Medicare Part A) and medical coverage (Medicare Part B) benefits through their plan. This covers screenings, preventive care, vaccinations, visits to doctors and specialists, hospital stays, skilled nursing, and hospice.

All UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans include coverage for:

  • Inpatient hospital admissions.
  • Doctor and specialist care.
  • Preventive care, screenings, and vaccinations.
  • Diagnostic services, lab work, X-rays and other imaging.
  • Outpatient services.
  • Ambulance transportation for emergencies.
  • Durable medical supplies and equipment.

Medicare regulations require that all private health plans offer at least the same coverage and benefits as Original Medicare. However, UnitedHealthcare sets its own out-of-pocket costs.

Some UnitedHealthcare plans include extra benefits such as routine dental, vision, hearing, and wellness programs. These services aren't typically covered by Original Medicare.

By signing up for a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plan, many beneficiaries find it convenient to have all their healthcare services in one plan, which often includes lower out-of-pocket expenses and additional perks that fit their health and lifestyle needs.

However, it's essential to remember that lower costs are not assured. The costs largely hinge on the chosen plan and your healthcare usage. Additionally, depending on the UnitedHealthcare plan selected, there may be restrictions like needing referrals and prior authorization, which are not requirements under Original Medicare.

Extra Benefits from UnitedHealthcare

Most UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans come with a variety of additional benefits designed to enhance overall health and wellbeing. Common additional benefits offered by UHC may include:

  • Dental, Vision, and Hearing Coverage: Many plans include allowances for routine dental care, vision exams, eyewear, and hearing aids.
  • Part B Premium Reduction: Some UHC plans offer a Part B giveback benefit, where the plan helps cover a portion of your Part B monthly premium.
  • Fitness Programs: Access to fitness programs such as Renew Active, which provides gym memberships and fitness classes.
  • Over-the-Counter (OTC) Allowance: Allowances for over-the-counter health products, which can be used at participating retailers.
  • Meal Delivery Services: Post-hospitalization meal delivery services to ensure proper nutrition during recovery.
  • Healthy Foods Benefit: Cards or allowances to purchase approved healthy foods at participating stores.
  • Telehealth Services: Access to virtual visits with healthcare providers for non-emergency care.
  • Transportation Benefits: Rides to and from medical appointments.
  • Insulin Savings Programs: For plans with Part D, special programs to cap insulin costs at an affordable rate.

These benefits can vary by plan and location, so it's important to check specific plan details in your area.

What Types of Plans Does UnitedHealthcare Offer?

Not all UnitedHealthcare plans are the same. And, UnitedHealthcare may not offer all plan types where you live, so it pays to explore using our Medicare Advantage Plan Finder tool. Here are the plan types UnitedHealthcare offers:[6]

HMO point-of-service plans are HMO plans that allow members to get some out-of-network services, but you’ll pay more for those services.

Health maintenance organization (HMO) plans require that you use a specific network of doctors and hospitals. Also, with a UnitedHealthcare HMO plan you may need a referral from your primary care doctor in order to see a specialist. Out-of-network benefits are usually very limited. However, in an emergency you are not limited to care from your local hospital of emergency room.

Medicare preferred provider organization (PPO) plans provide the most freedom, allowing you to see any provider that accepts the insurance. With a PPO plan, you generally do not need to choose a primary care doctor, and you don’t need referrals to see specialists. And you can seek out-of-network care, although it may cost more than seeing an in-network doctor.

UnitedHealthcare’s private fee-for-service (PFFS) plans allow you to see any Medicare-approved provider who accepts your UnitedHealthcare plan. With PFFS plans, you don’t have to pick a primary care doctor and won’t need a referral to see a specialist.

NOTE: UnitedHealthcare may also offer Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans (SNPs). Due to the highly specialized nature of D-SNP (dual eligible), C-SNP (chronic condition), and I-SNP (institutional) insurance plans, we review them separately.

How Much Do UnitedHealthcare Plans Cost?

Your costs in a UnitedHealthcare plan will depend on the specific plan selected, your location, your usage of plan services, and the plan’s out-of-pocket costs. Detailed information about out-of-pocket costs for all UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Plans is available in our plan finder.

Typically, UnitedHealthcare charges a monthly premium, which can vary depending on the coverage level and additional benefits included. You must also keep paying your Part B premium. Additionally, if you are a high-income earner, Medicare may apply a monthly Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA).[5]

UnitedHealthcare’s monthly premiums are highly dependent on where you live. For instance, the average cost of a Medicare Advantage plan from UnitedHealthcare in Florida is $0.00 per month, but in Missouri the average cost is $71.00 per month. These averages do not include Special Needs Plans.

UnitedHealthcare's Premiums vs. Competitors

The following list shows UnitedHealthcare's nationwide average monthly premium (excluding Special Needs Plans) vs. several competitors.

UnitedHealthcare
$13.97
Aetna
$5.51
Cigna
$10.11
AARP/UHC
$42.17
Kaiser
$22.97

You might also encounter copayments or coinsurance for healthcare services, including doctor visits and hospital stays. In each UnitedHealthcare plan we assessed, the costs differed based on the coverage level and the specific services received.

Be aware that some plans have $0 premiums or low copayments for specific services, whereas others could feature higher premiums but reduced out-of-pocket expenses. It’s essential to thoroughly examine the costs and coverage details of each plan option so you can find the one that best suits your budget and healthcare needs.[7]

We analyzed the following popular UnitedHealthcare plans to give you an idea of what members pay to use healthcare services. This is just a sample, use our Medicare Advantage Plan Finder to see plans and costs where you live.

Important costs for plan ID H0543-145-0 reviewed in San Diego County, CA.
  • Monthly premium: $0
  • Out-of-pocket max: $3,400
  • Primary Care: $$0
  • Specialist: $$0
  • Tier 1 Prescriptions: $4.00 copay, $0 deductible
  • Urgent Care: $$0
  • Emergency Room: $$0
  • Ground Ambulance: $$0
  • Inpatient Care:
  • Extra Benefits: None
Important costs for plan ID H0543-204-0 reviewed in San Diego County, CA.
  • Monthly premium: $0
  • Out-of-pocket max: $2,900
  • Primary Care: $$0
  • Specialist: $$0
  • Tier 1 Prescriptions: $10.00 copay, $0 deductible
  • Urgent Care: $$0
  • Emergency Room: $$0
  • Ground Ambulance: $$0
  • Inpatient Care:
  • Extra Benefits: None

Is UnitedHealthcare a Good Medicare Advantage Plan?

UnitedHealthcare is the largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans, offering various options to meet different health needs. The quality of UHC plans can be evaluated through several consumer intelligence and review sources, as well as the annual plan ratings issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Similar to other providers we have reviewed, UnitedHealthcare has a D+ rating (at the time of our research) from the BBB with 2,192 complaints in the past three years. This highlights potential issues with UHC's customer service and problem resolution​​.

NCQA Health Plan Score

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) rates health plans on a 5-point scale based on quality of care, patient satisfaction, and improvement efforts. In its 2023 ratings, UHC’s plans received scores ranging from 2.5 to 4.5 stars. In our analysis, plans serving large urban areas tend to score the highest.[4]

J.D. Power Ranking

According to the 2023 J.D. Power U.S. Medicare Advantage Study, United Healthcare ranks among the top in member satisfaction. The study evaluated plans on a 1,000-point scale, with UHC achieving a high level of trust and ease of doing business among its members. However, UHC's overall score was average compared to other major providers​​​​.[2]

ConsumerAffairs

Consumer reviews on ConsumerAffairs highlight a mix of positive and negative experiences with UHC’s Medicare Advantage plans. Positive feedback often mentions comprehensive coverage and good customer service, while common complaints focus on network restrictions and the need for prior authorizations for some services​​. Unfortunately, members of the ConsumerAffairs website use the platform to air all sorts of grievances, including complaints with their insurance agent, making it difficult to weed out issues with the health plan itself. 

A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating

A.M. Best, a renowned credit rating agency specializing in the insurance industry, affirms UnitedHealth Group's strong financial stability with an A (Excellent) rating. This rating reflects UHC's robust financial health, effective enterprise risk management, and consistent revenue growth from its diverse business segments. Detailed ratings can be reviewed on A.M. Best’s website.[3]

UnitedHealthcare's Medicare Star Ratings

UnitedHealthcare's average 5-star rating: 4.29*
*Our calculation is weighted by enrollments in public plans, excluding Special Needs Plans, with CMS star ratings across 45 contracts covering 4,689,822 members.

If you want the government’s take on the quality of UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage plans, check out the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' star ratings, which rank each plan from 1 (worst) to 5 (best) stars. The health agency assigns ratings based on quality of care and customer satisfaction measurements, and updates ratings every year.[9]

Every Medicare Advantage plan is reviewed based on CMS health plan standards. Those that provide prescription drug coverage are also rated on drug plan criteria. Using the most recent data and accounting for enrollment figures, UnitedHealthcare’s 2024 Medicare Advantage plans achieve an average of 4.29 stars.[9] [11]

As of January 1, 2024, 86% of members with UnitedHealthcare are in contracts that have earned a Medicare star rating of 4 stars or more.

Discover the ratings for plans available in your area using our Medicare Advantage Plan Finder tool.

Plan Availability

UnitedHealthcare's Medicare Advantage plans are accessible in 22 states, covering:

AL, AR, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, KS, MI, MO, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, SC, TX, VA, VT, WI, and WY.

UnitedHealthcare extends its coverage to 0 of the 3,140 counties across the U.S.[8]

UnitedHealthcare's Top Plans

Here's a list of UnitedHealthcare's most popular plans (by enrollments):[9][10]

Medicare Advantage Search and compare Medicare Advantage plans available in your area.

Find Plans in your area with your ZIP Code

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are the most frequently asked questions we found about UnitedHealthcare's Medicare Advantage plans:

Some Medicare Advantage plans offer a zero-dollar monthly premium because what Medicare pays the plan, plus your Medicare Part B premium, cover the full cost. For healthy people who want to keep their monthly costs low, these plans are an attractive option. But, just be aware that the premium is not the only cost. Plans also have copays or coinsurance you must pay when you use services. To learn more about free Medicare Advantage plans, read Why are Some Medicare Advantage Plans Free?

There is no debate when it comes to which plan offers better coverage. Original Medicare and a supplement plan offer the best coverage, but it costs more up-front. For a complete breakdown of the differences between Medicare Advantage plans and Medigap plans, read: Medicare Advantage vs Medigap: Which is Best for You?

With a Medicare Advantage plan you pay most of your costs when you use healthcare services through deductibles, copayments and/or coinsurance. As a result, private health plans can be difficult to budget. Learn More...

Researching your health plan options is important. Here are some key questions to consider before choosing a Medicare Advantage plan as well as additional companies to read about:

Key Questions

All plans potentially have monthly premiums, deductibles, copayments, and/or coinsurance, including plans from UnitedHealthcare. Are these costs within your budget?

  • Does the plan cover your prescriptions? Knowing how a plan covers them is important if you have regular prescriptions because costs and coverage vary widely from plan to plan.
  • Are your doctors in the plan’s network? If you have preferred providers, ensure they participate in the plan’s network.
  • Is routine dental, vision, and hearing covered? Traditional Medicare doesn’t cover these services. If you need it, be sure to explore plans that cover it.
  • What extras does the plan include? Plans may include many beneficial extras, like gym memberships (SilverSneakers), medical transportation, meal delivery, telehealth, and more.

If you have additional questions, visit Medicare.gov or call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227, TTY 877-486-2048).

About UnitedHealthcare

Headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota, UnitedHealthcare is the largest health insurer in the United States. UHC offers a comprehensive range of Medicare health insurance products, including Medicare Advantage Plans (Medicare Part C), Medicare Part D Plans (prescription drug plans), Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap plans), Medicaid coverage, and dental and vision plans.

UHC and AARP have formed a strategic alliance to offer a range of health insurance products tailored to older adults. This collaboration, initiated in 1997, allows UHC to market Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans under the AARP brand.

AARP endorses these plans, providing them with credibility and trust among seniors, while receiving royalty payments from UHC in return. This partnership leverages AARP's strong reputation and UHC's extensive network and resources to deliver high-quality healthcare solutions designed to meet the unique needs of the senior population.

You can enroll in a UHC Medicare Advantage plan or AARP branded plan during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) at age 65, the annual Open Enrollment Period (Oct 15 - Dec 7), or during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP), which Medicare grants based on special circumstances, such as moving or losing employer coverage. For more information, visit the official UHC website: https://www.uhc.com/medicare.

 

Company
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated
Phone Number
888-671-1379
Website
https://www.uhc.com/medicare
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Citations

MedicareWire uses trustworthy sources to inform its work, including government websites, government data, actuarial service data, consumer intelligence websites, and peer-reviewed studies. All content is fact-checked for accuracy, timeliness, and relevance. We used the following information sources in this review: