AARP UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Review
With 26% of all Medicare Advantage enrollees receiving their coverage through AARP UnitedHealthcare, it's the largest Part C provider in the country. Because of its size, AARP UnitedHealthcare is able to offer both rate stability and a broad range of plans for every budget and lifestyle.
$0 doctor visit copay for many plans
Above average satisfaction rating
Wide variety of preventive services and disease management programs
24-hour nurse line
Fitness membership included
Most complaints filed are regarding coverage issues
Availability in 24 states
Limited online resources
AARP UnitedHealthcare provides coverage to one quarter of the 24 million Medicare beneficiaries who enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan in 2020. Because of the size and scope of the company, AARP UnitedHealthcare is able to offer a variety of plans to meet your needs for a reasonable price.
Each plan offered by AARP UnitedHealthcare is given a star rating by Medicare. On average, the company's plans receive three-and-a-half stars to four stars, which is considered above average but not excellent. One area that AARP UnitedHealthcare plans did receive five stars for excellence was in customer service.
Who recommends AARP UnitedHealthcare?
AARP is a nonprofit organization that has a reputation for being an advocate for members over 50 as they age. AARP has partnered with UnitedHealthcare for the past 23 years and lent their name to UnitedHealthcare's Medicare Advantage plans, which is a significant endorsement of the value provided by the carrier.
Other key endorsements include:
"A" rating for financial strength from A. M. Best, which assesses the company's ability to meet the financial needs of its policyholders
Collaboration with the American Medical Association to help underserved populations gain better access to healthcare services
Chosen as a 2020 Military Friendly Employer for the eighth consecutive year
Recognized as a Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand, ranking number 86 on the 2020 list by Kantar BrandZ
How does AARP UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage insurance work?
A Medicare Advantage plan, also known as Medicare Part C, is an alternative way to receive your Medicare benefits. Instead of receiving your benefits through Part A and Part B (Original Medicare) from the federal government, you may choose an Advantage plan from a government-approved private insurance company.
Many people choose Advantage plans because they often include extra benefits yet still offer low or $0 premiums. Unlike Medicare Parts A and B, the plan may restrict you to a local network of providers, but for many beneficiaries this trade-off makes sense.
You may choose to enroll in an Advantage plan when you're first eligible for Medicare, or switch from Original Medicare or another Advantage plan during the yearly Open Enrollment Period.
What Medicare Advantage plans does AARP UnitedHealthcare offer?
Here are two of the carrier's most popular plans:
AARP Medicare Advantage Choice (PPO)
This is AARP UnitedHealthcare's most popular plan. It offers low or $0 monthly premiums, routine dental, vision, and hearing coverage (but not comprehensive coverage). It also offers some extras, such as fitness memberships and over-the-counter drug coverage.
Bottom line: Good value for those who desire individual choice in providers and out-of-network services
AARP Medicare Advantage (HMO-POS)
This is a plan that also affords members more flexibility than a traditional HMO, offering a desirable balance between provider choice and cost. Although fewer people have enrolled in this plan than in the Choice PPO, members tend to be more satisfied with this plan.
Bottom line: Perhaps the best of both worlds, offering great value while still keeping some flexibility
Although there are several other plan options with variations in both costs and coverage, most AARP UnitedHealthcare customers choose a PPO or HMO-POS plan.
How do AARP UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans compare to other insurance providers?
The HMO plans tend to offer lower-than-average yearly maximums for out-of-pocket spending, making these an affordable choice. There are other major carriers that offer low-cost HMO plans, too. What AARP UnitedHealthcare does well is offer the element of choice and flexibility through their PPO and HMO-POS plans, while still keeping costs low.
UnitedHealthcare's customer service tends to be better than many competitors as well. Most of the company's complaints involve services covered and the ease and speed with which members can obtain information or appointments. It should be noted that this challenge seems to be consistent across the spectrum of AARP UnitedHealthcare's Medicare Advantage plans.
What makes AARP UnitedHealthcare Medicare plans stand out from the rest?
The characteristic that sets AARP UnitedHealthcare's Advantage plans apart from the competition is their exceptional value. With UnitedHealthcare, you gain access to a vast network of providers and services, as well as extra benefits at a low cost. These benefits are the real draw for customers.
How does pricing work with AARP UnitedHealthcare, and can I get any discounts?
Many of the AARP UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans are offered with a low or $0 monthly premium. You are still required to pay the Part B monthly premium of $148.50, which is required no matter which Advantage plan you choose.
You also may be responsible for certain copays or deductibles, but with many AARP UnitedHealthcare plans, you will have low or $0 costs for these as well.
You may receive various discounts or incentives for participation in fitness or wellness activities, as well as discounts on hearing and vision services.
How do I know if I am eligible and can enroll in an AARP UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plan?
If you're eligible for Medicare Part A and Part B, you are eligible to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. You may enroll when you're first eligible for Medicare, or during the yearly Open Enrollment Period.
AARP UnitedHealthcare offers the most value with its Medicare Advantage plans.
Most of AARP UnitedHealthcare's Medicare Advantage members had no premium increase for 2021.
National plan availability
AARP UnitedHealthcare is the larget Medicare Advantage provider in the country.
By: Courtney Schmidt
Courtney Schmidt is a medical communications professional and clinical pharmacist with pediatric and adult hospital experience.