United Healthcare

time icon 6 min read update icon Sept. 20, 2019
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United Healthcare is a large, well-regarded company that offers standalone vision plans you can bundle with their dental plan.

We all know our sight is one of our most valuable assets. Taking care of our vision requires at least an annual exam if we are over 50. If the cost of the exam is an obstacle, we will probably not go. An insurance plan is a way to keep the costs low and predictable, so we do not put our eyes at risk just as they are becoming more vulnerable to age-related and other diseases. United Healthcare (UHC) offers a stand alone vision plan. You can also add a vision plan as a rider to your UHC dental plan. Note: UHC vision plans are not available in all states.

Grandfolk Scoring
Price 7/10
Deductible 10/10
Copay 9/10
Ease of enrollment 10/10
Access to support 7/10
Coverage 10/10
Limits to coverage 10/10
Waiting period 9/10
Physician choice 8/10
Payment 10/10
Monthly premium
Varies by the state in which you reside; policies are annual but can be paid for in monthly installments
Do you have one?
Do you pay one?
Yes, usually $10
Ease of enrollment
Ways you can enroll?
Online or by phone
Access to support
Availability to help?
8:00 AM-6:00 PM ET Mon-Fri by phone; website
What services are covered?
Comprehensive eye exam and, depending on plan, frames and lenses, or contact lenses
Limits to coverage
Annual maximum payment?
Within network, no limit
Waiting period
How long until use?
On the first day of the month following enrollment
Physician choice
Access to current doctor?
Yes, but if current doctor is not in network, you will need to submit claims for reimbursement and may pay more out of pocket
Types of payment accepted?
Credit cards and automatic withdrawal from checking
Age Score:
50-64 Years
65-74 Years
75-84 Years

United Healthcare encourages people of any age to consider their vision plans. There are two plan choices: Plan A is for glasses or contacts; Plan B is for both glasses and contacts. The company has a customer portal on its website for 24/7 access to your insurance information, your claim status and other helpful information. However, if you are not computer savvy, their phones are only staffed Monday through Friday from 8 AM-6 PM ET. This fact can limit access for older seniors and may be a consideration when deciding which insurance company to choose.

Health Score:
Poor Health
Fair Health
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Great Health

Vision plans from United Healthcare offer a national network of providers and the freedom to use a non-network provider. Having that flexibility is good news for those who are in less than good health. You can still use a familiar eye doctor you have used in the past. Although costs will be slightly higher, you will be more comfortable with someone you know. In any case, its extensive network of providers in both private and retail settings should assist most people in finding the right doctor. As your health condition declines, minimizing eye problems is critical as they can only distract from your efforts to heal.


  • You can use non-network providers, although at a higher cost.
  • One of their plans allows you to choose both glasses and contacts.
  • You can get a vision plan as a rider to a dental plan purchased through United Healthcare.
  • You can access discounts on laser eye surgery and hearing aids.
  • The company offers plans for people of all ages (must be over 18).
  • The website is straightforward and provides easy access to quotes for plans.


  • In some states, you must commit to continuing the coverage for at least 12 months before being able to cancel.
  • Eyeglass frames are covered every other year; lenses are covered every year.
  • Out-of-pocket costs will vary depending on which kind of provider you use (full service, exam only or dispense only).

Bottom Line:

UnitedHealth Group is a large company that is well situated in the health care industry. The company’s two vision plans offer reduced rates for eye exams, frames and lenses through a large network of both chain and independent providers. The plans are similar to those offered by other companies in the marketplace. The company assumes that clients can find what they need on the website, and offers fewer customer service telephone hours than competitors. Additionally, its plans are not available in all 50 states, a fact which denies access for some seniors. If you are looking for a more personal touch, this company may not be the best fit.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the copay?The copay for an exam and lenses is $10 if you use a network provider. If you go to a doctor who is not in the network, United Healthcare gives you an allowance of $50 for an exam, between $40-$80 for lenses and $75 for frames. You will need to pay any balance.

How and when can I get in touch if I have questions? You can call the number on their website during these hours: 8 AM-9 PM ET Mon-Thurs, 8 AM-7 PM ET Fri and 9 AM-3 PM ET Sun. If you are already a customer, you should log into your web account on the website.

If I sign up, are there any other benefits offered? They offer discounts on laser eye surgery through Laser Vision Network of America, and you can purchase digital hearing aids at a discount. 

More Information:

Product Details

Overview: United Healthcare offers two basic plans, Plan A and Plan B. Both plans offer eye exams once per year for a $10 copay if you use in-network providers. There is a $150 allowance on frames purchased in-network. Lenses within the network are covered with a $10 copay.


Package Details: Plan A allows you to get an annual exam, frames every other year, lenses every year or contacts every year. Plan B allows you to get an annual exam, frames every other year, lenses every year and contacts every year.

Other Services: United Healthcare offers discounts on hearing aids and laser vision surgery.

Additional Company Details

Contract Details: Vision plans purchased through United HealthCare are for a one-year period, but you can opt to pay in 12 monthly installments. You cannot terminate the plan within 12 months of coverage. There are some states where a 12-month commitment is not required. Where it is, the company will refund any premium received and not earned due to policy termination. If you have used benefits, simply stop paying your premium and the plan will be canceled. The only reasons accepted for termination are entering full-time U.S. military service or your death, if your spouse is not covered under the plan.    

Warranty:  Your satisfaction is guaranteed. 

Accreditations: UnitedHealth Group (UHG) offers benefits through United Healthcare and Optum. In 2017, UnitedHealth Group was the top-ranking company in the insurance and managed-care sector on Fortune’s 2017 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and ranked No. 1 overall in its sector for seven years straight. The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation honored the company with the Globe and Anchor Award in 2016 for its support in providing needs-based scholarships to children of U.S. Marines. UHG is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau and is not rated on the BBB website despite some complaints on the website, leaning on the privacy protections under HIPAA to deal with issues directly with complainants and not on a public website.
Company Details: UnitedHealth Group is a highly diversified health and well-being company whose mission it is to help people live healthier lives and to help make the health system work better for everyone. UHG began as Charter Med Incorporated in 1974. In 1977, UHG reorganized and became the parent company of Charter Med. In 1979, UHG introduced the first network-based health plan for seniors and participated in early experiments with private-market alternatives to Medicare. In 1997, it was selected by AARP to provide health coverage services to its members. In 1998 United HealthCare Corporation became known as UnitedHealth Group.

Contact Information:

UnitedHealth Group
9900 Bren Rd. E
Consumer Affairs
Minnetonka, MN 55343


Donna McDurfee - Senior Advisor

Donna is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.