UnitedHealthcare Insurance Review: Great Benefits but Expensive Rates
UnitedHealthcare Insurance Review: Great Benefits but Expensive Rates
Individual health insurance policies through UnitedHealthcare (UHC) are more expensive than average; however, plans will most often come with added benefits and access to wellness programs. Additionally, many customers have rated UHC well due to its supportive customer service department and smartphone app that can provide in-depth health analysis. UHC is the largest health insurance company by total policyholders. This is exemplified by the large suite of products that the provider offers, including health, dental, vision and disability.
Plans and options
UnitedHealthcare offers a variety of products, including:
Although these are all offered by UHC, not every plan may be available in the state that you live in. Furthermore, some policies may have different details and costs when compared state by state. Therefore, we suggest carefully reviewing a policy that is specific to your state before deciding to purchase it.
Individual health insurance
Individual health insurance plans are available through UnitedHealthcare and can be bought on your state health insurance marketplace if you currently do not receive health care through an employer or Medicaid. UnitedHealthcare offers five different tiers of coverage:
Since these policies are only offered on health insurance marketplaces, you can only buy a UnitedHealthcare individual plan during open enrollment or if you have a special enrollment period (SEP) exception.
Find Cheap Health Insurance in Your Area
As you can see in the graph above, UHC individual health insurance plans are not a cheap health insurance option when compared to plans offered by some competitors. For example, the average individual premium for Fidelis Care in New York is $568 per month, which is close to 47% cheaper than the average of $1,078 for UnitedHealthcare.
Price is an important aspect to consider when choosing your health insurance policy. However, you should also look at the additional benefits that each health insurance provider offers. For example, UnitedHealthcare gives policyholders access to wellness programs, which we evaluate in more depth in this review.
Below you will find a breakdown of each plan tier. The main differences between these plans are typically the monthly premium, deductible and out-of-pocket maximum (OOPM). However, depending on what state you live in, the specific details of the policy may differ, such as copays and coinsurance amounts.
(For the purpose of this review, all policy details in the table are for plans found on the New York state health insurance marketplace. All premiums for policies are a monthly cost.)
Average individual premium
|UHC Compass Catastrophic||$483||$8,150||$8,150|
|UHC Compass Bronze||$849||$4,425||$8,150|
|UHC Compass Silver||$1,057||$1,300||$7,900|
|UHC Compass Gold||$1,329||$600||$4,000|
|UHC Compass Platinum||$1,618||$0||$2,000|
UHC Medicare Advantage
Medicare Advantage policies are offered by UnitedHealthcare through AARP. This means that although UHC is offering the policy, the Medicare Advantage plan is actually being underwritten by AARP. Some Medicare policies you can purchase include:
- Medicare Advantage (Part C)
- Medicare Supplement plans (Part A, B, G, K, L, N, C and F)
- Medicare prescription drug plans (Part D)
Although these are all policies offered by UHC, they may not all be available in your state since individual state regulations will vary.
Short-term health insurance
UnitedHealthcare short-term health insurance policies are cheaper than individual health insurance but provide the bare minimum in benefits. Furthermore, unlike individual plans, a short-term policy can be purchased outside of open enrollment, meaning it can be bought throughout the year.
UHC offers three different tiers of short-term health insurance policies: Value, Value Copay and Plus.
The main difference between these tiers will involve the premium, coinsurance and cost of a doctor visit. For example, the most expensive plan — Plus — provides the best after-deductible coinsurance of 20%. A short-term health insurance policy may be helpful if you are healthy and need minimum coverage, but this is a policy that should not be purchased if you have a family.
Business health insurance
Small-business health insurance and employer plans are offered by UnitedHealthcare for groups that have anywhere from two to over 5,000 employees. These are usually comprehensive plans, meaning that medical, dental, health, disability and life could all be provided to employees of a company. However, UnitedHealthcare also lets business owners pick and choose which policies they might want to offer employees.
For example, a small-business owner could choose to offer a health and dental plan through UHC but get their disability policy through a different provider.
Member resources and benefits
UnitedHealthcare differentiates its coverage by providing extra benefits and unique rewards, encouraging its customers to be healthy and allowing access to the UHC mobile app.
UHC Baby Blocks is a program that rewards members for going to the doctor with their baby. Pregnant mothers and infants up to 15 months old can be enrolled by just confirming their membership and answering some simple health questions. Some typical rewards that enrollees can receive for participating include gift cards, baby gear, toys, books or child safety items.
Another program UHC members can access is myEasyBook, which offers policyholders the ability to set up a doctor's appointment 24/7.
UHC mobile app
The UnitedHealthcare app is a feature that the health insurance provider allows its members to download. Some of the features offered on this smartphone app include:
- Find in-network care options in your area
- Talk to a doctor by video
- See doctor reviews and ratings
- View your health plan ID card
- Manage prescriptions
- View claims and account balances
- View copays, annual deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses
- Estimate procedure costs
Customer reviews and complaints
Customer reviews for UnitedHealthcare are slightly above average when compared with other health insurance companies. Many members praise the company’s tech support and customer service as being easy to work with and providing enough information when they have questions. This is all exemplified by the company’s National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint ratio of 0.04 — meaning the company has received significantly less than the average number of complaints given its size.
Finally, UnitedHealthcare received an AM Best rating of A (excellent). This means that the company is strong financially and has the ability to pay out claims in the future.
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.