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By Samantha Lamph
Updated May 20, 2020

If you're looking for a Medicare plan, there is no shortage of options. In fact, with the amount of plans available, it can be difficult to decide which option is right for your needs.

Fortunately, no matter which plan type you choose, UnitedHealthcare® offers a plan that can work for you. One in five Medicare members has coverage through UnitedHealthcare.

In 2019, UnitedHealthcare provided coverage to:

  • More than 5.19 million Medicare Advantage enrollees

  • More than 4.7 million Part D enrollees

  • More than 4.5 million Medicare Supplement enrollees

Why Choosing an Alternative Plan to Original Medicare Is Important

Original Medicare provides coverage for the most basic of health needs. However, it doesn't cover everything. Prescription drugs, for example, are not covered by Original Medicare. Similarly, Original Medicare doesn't cover hearing, dental or vision care. To fill these gaps, many Medicare members will elect to purchase some form of additional coverage.

There are four main types of additional coverage available:

  1. Medicare Advantage plans
  2. Medicare Supplement plans
  3. Medicare Part D plans
  4. Medicare Special Needs plans

There is no one-size-fits-all solution. The plan that works for your best friend or even your spouse might not be the right option for you.

Find a Medicare Plan that fits your budget

AARP® Medicare Supplement Plans by UnitedHealthcare

There are a total of 10 Medicare Supplement plans (named A–N) available on the market. The benefits included with each plan type are standardized by the federal government. However, prices vary from carrier to carrier.

UnitedHealthcare insures eight AARP Medicare Supplement plans, including:

  • Plan A

  • Plan B

  • Plan C*

  • Plan F*

  • Plan G

  • Plan K

  • Plan L

  • Plan N

Each of these plans includes full or partial coverage for each of the following benefits:

  1. Coinsurance payments for Part A inpatient hospital care, including up to 365 additional days

  2. Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayments

  3. Up to three pints of blood for use in a medical procedure

  4. Coinsurance or copayments for hospice care under Medicare Part A

Some plans will include coverage for additional benefits, such as:

  • 50–100% of your Medicare Part A deductible

    • 50% — Plan K

    • 75% — Plan L

    • 100% — Plans B, C, F, G and N

  • 100% of your Medicare Part B deductible — Plans C and F*

    • *Plans C and F are being phased out. Those who were not eligible for Medicare prior to January 1, 2020, are not eligible to purchase these plans.

  • 50–100% of your coinsurance for care provided in a skilled nursing facility

    • 50% — Plan K

    • 75% — Plan L

    • 100% — Plans C, F, G and N

  • 100% of your Part B excess charges — Plans F and G

  • 100% of foreign travel emergency expenses (up to plan limits) — Plans C, F, G and N

  • A yearly out-of-pocket maximum — Plans K and L

    • Plan K — $5,880

    • Plan L — $2,940

Under their new At Your Best™program, UnitedHealthcare now offers the following benefits to all its AARP Medicare Supplement plan members at no additional charge:

Renew Active™ by UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare's new fitness program gives members access to a large network of gyms and fitness centers.

Staying Sharp by UnitedHealthcare

This online program provides members access to tools that promote brain health. AARP Staying Sharp includes: a brain health assessment, articles, exercises, recipes, games, activities and other resources.

Hearing Care Program by HearUSA

On top of the member rate, members enjoy:

  • an additional $100 discount on hearing devices in the top five tiers of technology and features.

  • extended warranties on digital hearing aids.

  • a dedicated hearing health support team.

AARP Vision Discounts by EyeMed

In addition to discounts on routine exams and eyewear purchases, members have access to:

  • $50 eye exams at participating locations.

  • an additional $50 off of the AARP vision discount offered at LensCrafters.

24/7 Nurse Line

Members have 24/7 phone access to registered nurses who can address their questions and concerns. Translation assistance is available in Spanish, as well as 140+ other languages.

Wellness Coaching

Members can consult over the phone with trained wellness coaches. These coaches can provide personalized guidance and support to meet your unique wellness goals.

Medicare Part D Plans by UnitedHealthcare

Purchased in addition to Original Medicare, UnitedHealthcare's Part D plans provide members with prescription drug coverage. These plans help members cover the costs of the prescription medications they need to survive. Drug costs continue to rise faster than any other health expenses. Without Part D coverage, even a single medication could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars each month.

Each Part D plan has a unique formulary, which is the list of drugs it covers. Typically, formularies are organized in a tier system. In a tier system, preferred and generic drugs appear in lower tiers. Expensive, rare or brand-name drugs are often found in tiers four or five. Lower tiers typically correspond to lower copays.

Before selecting a plan in which to enroll, first ensure that all or most of your prescriptions are covered. Then, take note of which tiers your drugs fall under. This will help you more accurately estimate your out-of-pocket costs.

You'll also want to review the pharmacies included in the plan's network. Be sure to pay special attention to the plan's preferred pharmacies. Filling your prescriptions in-network, and especially at a preferred pharmacy, can save you a significant amount of money. If you have a favorite pharmacy you want to continue visiting, ensure it is included in your plan's network before you enroll.

Medicare Advantage Plans by UnitedHealthcare

Medicare Advantage plans are purchased as a substitute for Original Medicare.

There are numerous types of Medicare Advantage plans available, including:

Health Maintenance Organization Plans (HMOs)

These plans use a network primary care provider to help members coordinate their care. HMO plans usually pay only for providers within their network. Members must obtain referrals to see specialists.

Point of Service Plans (POS)

These plans are similar to HMOs, but they provide more flexibility when it comes to choosing a provider.

Preferred Provider Organization Plans (PPOs)

PPO plans cover providers in and out of their network. However, they pay only a portion of costs for out-of-network providers.

Special Needs Plans (SNPs)

These plans provide specific benefits for particular qualifying groups who have unique health or financial needs. They are required to provide coverage for prescription drugs.

Private Fee-for-Service Plans (PFFS)

While these plans may have a provider network, they will cover any provider who accepts Medicare.

Medical Savings Account Plans (MSA)

These plans are a combination of a high-deductible health plan and a special savings account. Medicare deposits funds that the member can withdraw, tax-free, in order to pay for qualified healthcare services.

UnitedHealthcare's Medicare Advantage plans include all of the benefits associated with Medicare Parts A and B. Most (but not all) of these plans will also include Part D prescription drug coverage. These are known as Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans (MAPD).

Additional benefits will vary by plan and may include:

  • $0 copays for doctor visits

  • $0 copays for prescription drugs

  • Yearly out-of-pocket maximums

  • Discounts of 40% or more on over-the-counter medications

  • Free dental exams

  • Free annual vision exams, including an annual allowance for contacts, lenses and frames

  • Free annual hearing exams, including low copays on hearing aids

  • Free gym membership through the Renew Active or Silver Sneakers program (depending on location)

  • Free virtual visits from the comfort of your own home, using your computer, tablet or smartphone

Medicare Special Needs Plans by UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare offers Special Needs plans for individuals who meet certain qualifications. These plans tailor their benefits, providers and prescription drug formularies to meet the needs of the particular group they serve.

UnitedHealthcare offers the following Special Needs plans for qualifying groups:

Institutional Special Needs Plans (ISNPs) and Institutional Equivalent Special Needs Plans (IESNPs)

These plans are designed for people who have received or expect to need the level of care provided in a long-term care skilled nursing facility for 90 days or more. Other qualifying institutions include:

  • Long-term care nursing facilities

  • Inpatient psychiatric facilities

  • Intermediate care facilities for those with intellectual disabilities

  • Those who require an equivalent level of at-home nursing care may also qualify

Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plans (DSNPs)

These plans are designed for people who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. Eligible hospital stays, doctor visits and prescription medications are covered.

These plans also include the following benefits at no additional cost:

  • Dental care

  • Eye exams and allowances for eligible eyewear

  • Hearing exams and allowances for eligible hearing aids and devices

  • Transportation to healthcare providers and pharmacies

  • Many dual-eligible individuals will also qualify for a $0 monthly premium

Chronic Special Needs Plans (CSNPs)

These plans are designed for people who have specific chronic conditions. Under a CSNP, members may receive personalized coordination of care to help them better understand and manage their conditions.

Additionally, these plans may provide members with access to special diet, fitness or other wellness programs.

Some of the most common qualifying chronic conditions include but are not limited to:

  • Diabetes

  • Chronic heart failure and other cardiovascular disorders

  • Autoimmune disorders

  • Dementia


  • Cancer

More About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is a part of UnitedHealth Group: the largest healthcare company in the world by revenue. UnitedHealthcare provides health insurance to more than 15 million people, and Medicare is one of its primary offerings.

If you're ready to explore UnitedHealthcare Medicare plans in your area, connect with a licensed professional who can help answer your questions and guide you through the enrollment process.

Samantha Lamph is a former English and creative writing professor with experience in health and finance writing.