UnitedHealthcare Insurance Review

UnitedHealthcare is a good health insurance company that has high customer satisfaction and many included perks. But it often denies medical claims.

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UnitedHealthcare

Editor's Rating

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) health insurance isn't usually the cheapest available, but plans include extra benefits and perks. Members generally like their plans. However, many people complain that they had to fight UHC for it to cover the medical care their doctor recommended.

Good for
  • Affordable rates in several states
  • Perks like rewards for healthy activities
  • Free insulin
Bad for
  • Often denying claims for medical treatment
  • Poor phone support
  • Only available in 26 states

UnitedHealthcare insurance costs

An individual health insurance plan from UnitedHealthcare costs an average of $576 per month for a Silver plan, if you pay full price.


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UnitedHealthcare isn't one of the cheapest health insurance companies. You can usually get better rates from Kaiser Permanente, Aetna and Ambetter.

However, UnitedHealthcare policies do include extra benefits, so you're getting more with your plan.

Average monthly rate for UnitedHealthcare vs. competitors

Company
Monthly rate
Kaiser Permanente logo
Kaiser Permanente$481
Aetna logo
Aetna$502
Ambetter logo
Ambetter$521
Cigna logo
Cigna$566
UnitedHealthcare logo
UnitedHealthcare$576
Show All Rows

Individual health insurance rates for a 40-year-old with a Silver plan.

UnitedHealthcare actually has cheap rates for coverage types other than individual health insurance. UnitedHealthcare's Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans are a cheap way to get coverage for seniors and others who qualify for Medicare.

UnitedHealthcare insurance rates by state

UnitedHealthcare is cheap in Arizona, Illinois and Nevada, where it costs at least 20% less than average. UnitedHealthcare is not a good deal in New York, where it costs 71% more than average.

Where you live can affect whether UnitedHealthcare is a good deal for individual health insurance plans.

Compare rates for health insurance companies in your state

UnitedHealthcare plans and options

UnitedHealthcare has a wide set of plans to choose from and gives you the flexibility to get medical care from a large network of doctors. As one of the largest health insurance companies, UHC works with 1.3 million doctors and 6,700 hospitals across the country. However, the doctors you can use will vary by plan.

UnitedHealthcare offers several types of health insurance.

Individual health insurance

Individual health insurance plans are available through UnitedHealthcare and can be bought on the federal health insurance marketplace or your state's marketplace. UnitedHealthcare offers five different tiers of coverage:

  • Catastrophic
  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum

UnitedHealthcare plans are cheaper if you buy a lower-level plan. The main differences between these plans are typically the monthly rate, 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.

Since these policies are only offered on health insurance marketplaces, you can only buy a UnitedHealthcare individual plan when it's open enrollment or if you have a special enrollment period (SEP) exception.

UHC Medicare

Most Medicare plans from UnitedHealthcare are offered through its partnership with AARP. So even though AARP is on the plan name, the insurance is through UnitedHealthcare.

UnitedHealthcare's Medicare options include:

Although these are all policies offered by UHC, they may not be available in your state since plan options can vary by location.

Short-term health insurance

UnitedHealthcare is one of the best companies for short-term health insurance.

Its average rate of $179 per month is not the cheapest you can get for this type of plan. But UHC has better benefits than you can get from other companies, and UHC's short-term plans often cover preventive care and prescriptions.

UnitedHealthcare's short-term health insurance comes from Golden Rule Insurance Co. The plan options vary by state, but you'll be able to choose between different deductibles, copays and maximum benefit amounts.

Short-term plans usually don't provide the full benefits that you get with a regular health insurance plan. But coverage starts right away, and you can enroll any time during the year.

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, disability and life could all be part of the coverage companies offer employees. 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.


Extra benefits you get with UnitedHealthcare insurance

UnitedHealthcare stands out for its extra benefits and unique rewards, which help its customers to be healthy.

UHC offers free insulin and other drugs

prescription icon

To help make sure people can get the medications they need, UnitedHealthcare got rid of the cost for several lifesaving drugs, including insulin. Other drugs with a $0 cost include:

  • Epinephrine, for severe allergic reactions
  • Glucagon, for low blood sugar
  • Naloxone, for opioid overdoses
  • Albuterol, for severe asthma attacks

UHC healthy benefits

healthy rewards icon

UnitedHealthcare has a few different programs where you could earn cash for healthy activities. Your plan will determine which program you're eligible for.

UHC Health Perks lets you earn a $100 gift card if you complete five healthy activities. UHC Rewards is an ongoing way to earn money by reaching milestones like daily exercise and regular sleep tracking. Plus, UHC Healthy First Steps is a program that helps pregnant women and new mothers choose a doctor, keep up with appointments, learn about prenatal care and even check for extra benefits from their state.

UHC fitness programs

high five icon

UnitedHealthcare also has two fitness programs, Motion and Rally. Motion helps you meet daily fitness goals and rewards you with up to $1,095 per year. Rally lets you take a survey to assess your health metrics and then helps you choose wellness goals. You'll get rewarded as you meet your goals.

UHC mobile app

cellphone icon

The UnitedHealthcare app helps you keep track of your health and health insurance. Some of the features offered on this smartphone app include:

  • Find in-network doctors in your area
  • Talk to a doctor by video
  • See doctor reviews and ratings
  • View your health plan ID card
  • Estimate procedure costs
  • Manage prescriptions
  • View claims and account balances
  • View copays, annual deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses

Customer reviews and complaints

UnitedHealthcare has good health insurance plans overall, but customers complain about it denying medical claims.

What's good about UnitedHealthcare?

  • Members generally like their health insurance plans. UnitedHealthcare has 4.6 out of five stars for member experience, according to a HealthCare.gov survey that asked people to rank their medical care, doctors and ability to get appointments.
  • UnitedHealthcare gets 19% fewer complaints than average, for a company of its size. This shows that members are generally satisfied and getting the coverage they need.
  • UHC's mobile apps are highly rated by users, showing it's a convenient and low-hassle way to manage benefits and check medical costs on your phone.

iOS:

Android:

What's bad about UnitedHealthcare?

  • UnitedHealthcare has an average overall rating compared to other major health insurance companies. UHC received 3.5 out of five stars overall from HealthCare.gov. This middle-of-the-road rating is because of lower scores for customer service and how well UHC's network of doctors provides medical care.

  • UnitedHealthcare denies medical claims at a much higher rate than the industry average, based on the HealthCare.gov plans for which data is available.

    UnitedHealthcare claims data is only available for two states. In Tennessee, UHC denies one-quarter of medical claims, and in Arizona, it denies 39% of medical claims. That's more than double the average rate of claims denied of 17%.

What to do if your medical claims are denied by UnitedHealthcare

  • Be persistent and proactive: Start by calling UnitedHealthcare to find out what the issue is, and keep calling until you get the issue resolved.
  • Get your doctor involved: They can help you document that your treatment is necessary and that you've met your insurance plan's requirements for coverage.
  • File an appeal: Very few people file an appeal when a claim is denied, but after an internal appeal, about 31% to 43% of UHC's denials are reversed. If that doesn't work, you can file an external appeal where UHC's decision is reviewed by an outside panel.
  • Get other people involved: File a complaint with your state's department of insurance, contact your state insurance commissioner, talk to a lawyer about your legal options or call your attorney general's helpline.

What are the top customer complaints about UnitedHealthcare?

Poor customer service and claim denials are the top complaints about UnitedHealthcare on sites like Yelp, Reddit and Consumer Affairs.

  • Calling customer service was frustrating for many people.

    It can take multiple calls to UnitedHealthcare to resolve an issue, said one Reddit user. Another said, "They never give you a straight answer. If you ask 10 of the associates the same question you'll get 10 different responses."

  • Many people say it's a struggle to get UHC to cover medical bills, even when their doctor said the treatment was "medically necessary."

    One Reddit user said that UnitedHealthcare "denied every little thing." That meant they had to spend time on the phone fighting with the company to cover their medical bills, including a trip to the ER.

Online reviews of health insurance companies tend to be poor, and UnitedHealthcare's average rating on review sites ranges from one to two stars, out of five stars.

Review site
UHC rating
Total reviews
Consumer Affairs1.6
2,000+
Better Business Bureau1.1
1,000+
RedditNA
1,000+
Sitejabber1.5
200+
Trustpilot1.4
60+
Yelp1.3
40+

Methodology and sources

Health insurance rates are national averages for 40-year-olds buying Silver plans in 2024 on HealthCare.gov or the state marketplaces. Rates include data from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) public use files. Plans and providers for which county-level data was included in the CMS Crosswalk file were used in the rate analysis. Those excluded from this data set may not appear.

Complaint data is from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), using a weighted average based on each subsidiary's premiums. Claim denial rates are from the most recent insurance transparency data from CMS, which was released in 2023 about insurance plans offered in 2021.

Additional sources include app stores for Apple and Google, as well as online review sites.

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.