AARP with UnitedHealthcare

AARP has partnered with powerhouse UnitedHealthcare to offer cost-saving Medicare Supplement Insurance plans to more people than any other insurance provider. 

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9.1
Grand Score
8
User Score
9.1
Grand Score
8
User Score
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UnitedHealthcare is the exclusive insurer of Medicare Supplement plans selected and promoted by AARP, a membership organization of people over 50, with 38 million members. Medical Supplement plans (also known as 'Medigap') are designed to help seniors cover Medicare-approved out-of-pocket expenses that Original Medicare’s Part A and Part B do not cover. Those expenses can include coinsurances, copayments and deductibles. However, dental, vision or other such health-related issues are only addressed if offered separately as an extra perk. Of the ten Medicare Supplement plans (designated by letters between A and N) whose benefits are standardized by the government, AARP offers many of the plans, although not in all states. If AARP offers your preferred plan in your state, and its price is good, you will want to put them on your shortlist. You must be a member of AARP, which costs a modest $16 annual fee, to access the popular AARP Medicare Supplement plans.  

Grandfolk Scoring
Cost 8/10
Ease of enrollment 9/10
Coverage 10/10
Waiting period 10/10
Customer support 9/10
Doctor restrictions 10/10
Health exam 10/10
Renewal 10/10
Multi-policy discount 9/10
Claim turnaround 10/10
Decision-making assistance 8/10
Cost
Monthly premium
Varies with plan and state
Ease of enrollment
Ways you can enroll
Online, phone and in-person
Coverage
What plans are available?
Focus on A, B, C, F, G, K, L and N, plus variations
Waiting period
How soon can services be used?
Immediately, in your Medigap Open Enrollment Period
Customer support
Ease of access
Online 24/7; phone 7:00 AM-11:00 PM ET Mon-Fri, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM ET Sat; in person by appointment
Doctor restrictions
Limited to which doctors?
Any doctors in the U.S. who accept Medicare assignment
Health exam
Required for enrollment?
No, not during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period
Renewal
Is renewal automatic despite health conditions?
Yes, as long as premiums are paid
Multi-policy discount
Available to multi-member households?
Yes, 5% off for two AARP members with these plans
Claim turnaround
Average time to process a claim?
98% of claims paid in 10 days
Decision-making assistance
Are resources available to help with decisions?
Yes, online videos, downloadable printable guides or call toll-free number for printed material
Age Score:
0
50-65 Years
10
65-75 Years
10
75-85 Years
10
85-Above

Once you turn 50, that first AARP magazine shows up in your mailbox, and you are eligible to become a member of a strong lobbying organization that is said to be looking out for your interests. Whether that’s interesting to you or not, once you approach 65 you will want to join if AARP offers the specific Medicare Supplement plan you are seeking at the very best price. Medigap plans are priced using three formulas, one being Community-Rated which this insurer applies in states where that is allowed. (In Florida, for example, it is not.) This rating formula does not let your age affect your premiums, so a 65-year-old applicant would be quoted the same rate as a 75-year-old, and costs would be driven instead by the insurance experience of the entire community. However, rates going forward will reflect inflation and the costs experienced by the insurer. Community-Rated plans may cost more initially, but future premium increases tend to be lower, usually 3 to 5 percent each year. The insurer is also offering the well-loved SilverSneakers fitness program for free to its Medigap members in some states, although that benefit is not available nationwide.

Health Score:
10
Great health
10
Good Health
10
Fair Health
10
Poor Health

A senior with declining health will be concerned about how much of the Medicare-eligible expenses beyond Original Medicare’s Part A and Part B will have to be paid out-of-pocket. A Medigap plan such as AARP’s Plan F or G will remove much of that concern, as long as the selected doctors and facilities accept Medicare assignment. AARP’s insurer is said to approve 99.94 percent of its applicants, with the primary medical reason for denial after the initial Open Enrollment Period at age 65 being chronic kidney disease. If enrolling after 65, many of its competitors will charge based on age and health, which almost guarantees a denial or a higher premium if there is a pre-existing condition. With this insurer, you can call for advice from a registered nurse any time, 24/7.

Pros:

  • AARP through UnitedHealthcare offers more lenient underwriting for people over the age of 65 who are no longer in their initial 6-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period. 
  • The company’s Medicare Supplement policies are priced using Community Rating in most states, where allowed. 
  • All Medigap plans that exist today are available to AARP, although not all plans are offered in all states.
  • You can call for advice from a registered nurse any time, 24/7.
  • This insurer and its affiliates cover more people with Medicare Supplement plans nationwide than any other individual insurance carrier.
  • The company offers a household discount of five percent off the monthly premium if two members share an AARP membership account and if both are insured under an AARP Medicare Supplement plan.

Cons:

  • Their advantageous Community Rated pricing formula is not available in all states.
  • Price competitiveness varies greatly from state to state. 
  • AARP annual membership fee ($16/year) is required to obtain a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan.

Bottom Line:

UnitedHealthcare and AARP have partnered to help seniors like you live less stressful lives. They do this by providing Medicare Supplement plans that cover out-of-pocket costs accepted by Medicare, but not paid for entirely by Original Medicare Part A and Part B. The insurer offers a wide array of the standardized Medigap plans. Among those, you should be able to find one that meets your wishes and your budget. The insurer’s parent company, UnitedHealth Group, offers many kinds of insurance, but only offers Medigap in conjunction with AARP. A Fortune survey has ranked UnitedHealth Group the top-ranking (“Most Admired”) company in the insurance and managed care sector for the past seven years. If you are a senior in the market for Medicare Supplement Insurance, AARP with UnitedHealthcare should be considered for its competitive rates in many markets and its positive reputation among its members.

Frequently Asked Questions:

If plan benefits are all the same from insurer to insurer, what distinguishes AARP?

Not all insurers offer all of the existing Medigap plans. AARP offers a wide range, up to eight plans in some states, plus ‘Select’ versions of some. As a result, a potential customer has a wide choice of benefit packages and price points. By being such a major player, UnitedHealthcare can stabilize pricing more easily. When you combine that with its Community-Rated pricing formula which charges the same premiums to all policyholders, regardless of age, gender or health, the consumer wins in the long term.

Are there any additional services or perks offered when choosing AARP?

As an insured senior covered under an AARP Medicare Supplement plan, you may have access to SilverSneakers fitness program at no additional cost at one of more than 13,000 locations nationwide. You may also qualify for the 5-percent discount if you and another person in your household share an AARP membership and both have one of its insurer’s Medigap plans. Lastly, you may receive AARP’s Vision Discounts on eyewear, plus routine eye and contact lens exams, through EyeMed. 

What is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan that is sold through this insurer?

As the most comprehensive of the Medigap plans, Plan F is the most popular plan, but also the most expensive. It covers 100 percent of the eligible deductibles, copayments and coinsurance not paid entirely by Original Medicare’s Part A and Part B. 

More Information:

Product Details 

Overview: AARP’s various Medicare Supplement plans complement a senior’s Original Medicare coverage by paying different proportions of the Medicare-eligible expenses that Part A and Part B do not pay. Its Medigap policies are insured by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company. AARP does not employ or endorse agents, brokers or producers.

  • Package Details: AARP offers all of the existing Medigap plans.

Additional Company Details

Contract Details: Policies must comply with Federal and state regulations. You can go to any doctor, anywhere in the U.S., as long as that doctor accepts Medicare assignment. As long as you enroll during your initial Medigap Open Enrollment Period when turning 65, the company must enroll you on a guaranteed basis and cannot drop you as long as you are paying your premiums. At that time, even if you have a disability or health problem, it cannot refuse to sell you any Medigap policy it offers, charge you a higher premium than they charge others who are 65 and older or delay the start of your coverage.

Warranty: You have the right to review your new Medigap policy for 30 days after you buy it, and you may cancel it during that time for a full refund. You also have the right to cancel a Medigap policy at any time for a partial refund of any prepaid premiums.

Accreditations: AARP policies are insured by United Healthcare, a division of UnitedHealth Group, which is a publicly traded company (UNH). United Health Group has not received accreditation from the Better Business Bureau and has not been rated. AARP is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau either but maintains an A+ rating on BBB’s website. 

Company Details: AARP endorses the AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, which are insured by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company. AARP receives royalty fees from UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company for the use of its intellectual property. AARP uses these fees for the general purposes. AARP and its affiliates are not insurers. UnitedHealth Group received recognition as the top company in the insurance and managed care field. Stephen J. Hemsley, CEO of UnitedHealth Group, responded with “This honor is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the more than 230,000 people of UnitedHealth Group, Optum and UnitedHealthcare who are dedicated to our values – integrity, compassion, innovation, relationships and performance – and to delivering high-quality health care products and services to the people we are privileged to serve.”

Contact: 

UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company
PO BOX 30607
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0607

Phone: 866-408-5545

T. Mashae Pearson - Senior Advisor

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