Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C, provide services traditional Medicare offers in addition to other services, such as prescription medications and sometimes vision, dental, or hearing care. UnitedHealthcare (UHC) is an example of an insurance company that provides Medicare Advantage plans to American consumers.

Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Part C, is an alternative to original Medicare where a private insurance company manages your Medicare insurance coverage. When you choose a Medicare Advantage plan, Medicare gives your plan a certain amount of money to provide health services for you throughout the year.

In return, you get your same benefits under original Medicare, including Part A and Part B coverage, as well as additional coverage. UHC Medicare Advantage plans may offer some of the following:

Keep reading to find out more about UHC Medicare Advantage plans, including an overview of some UHC plans across the United States.

UHC currently has the highest market share of all Medicare Advantage enrollees, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. In 2019, an estimated 26 percent of Medicare Advantage enrollees were in a UHC plan. To compare UHC’s rise in policy popularity, consider that in 2010, 19 percent of Medicare Advantage enrollees were in a UHC plan.

UHC Advantage HMO Plans

Many Medicare Advantage plans are coordinated care plans, which means you choose from a network of in-network providers that have an agreement with UHC (or another insurance company) to provide medical care at a discount. This is a health maintenance organization (HMO).

These plans usually only pay for using in-network providers. If you use an out-of-network provider with an HMO plan, you may have to pay full costs for the coverage.

Some UHC plans may also offer point of service (POS) plans. These are plans that may be more flexible in terms of payment options for providers. But, they may cost slightly more than strictly an HMO plan.

UHC Medicare Advantage PPO Plans

A Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan is similar to an HMO, but usually pays for both in- and out-of-network providers, but at different rates. The added flexibility may make a PPO plan slightly more expensive than an HMO.

UHC Special Needs Plans (SNPs)

UHC offers Special Needs Plans, or SNPs, to provide services to those who may have specific health needs. Every UHC SNP includes prescription drug coverage. Examples of UHC’s offerings for SNPs include:

  • Chronic Special Needs Plans (C-SNPs), which provide specific care for those who have severe, chronic health conditions.
  • Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs), which provide coverage for people who have both Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Institutional-Equivalent Special Needs Plans (IE-SNPs), which provide coverage for people who live in a contracted assisted living facility, yet require similar care to a person who lives in a skilled nursing facility.
  • Institutional Special Needs Plans (I-SNPs), which provide coverage for people who live in a skilled nursing facility.

These plans have specific providers and drug coverage geared toward those with certain conditions.

UHC Medicare Prescription Plans (Part D Plans)

UHC offers Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. You can purchase one of these plans if you don’t currently have drug coverage as part of your Medicare Advantage plan. Each plan contains a list of tiers that has different values for prescription drug categories, including generic and name-brand drugs.

UHC Medicare Advantage PFFS Plans

In some parts of the country, UHC offers Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plans. These are plans that don’t always have a specific provider network, but instead pay providers who accept Medicare, providing they accept assignment. These plans from UHC don’t usually offer Part D plans.

The coverage for UHC plans vary based on what plan you choose. Their Medicare Advantage plans may include:

  • dental coverage
  • fitness program called Renew Active, which includes a gym membership, group fitness classes, and online “brain games”
  • hearing coverage
  • vision coverage

Each plan may offer different benefits. Read them carefully to be sure you are getting the coverage you would use the most.

UHC Medicare Advantage health plans vary by state and coverage. Some may include prescription drug plans while others may also incorporate additional services, such as dental, hearing, and vision.

You may search for available UHC Medicare Advantage plans using Medicare.gov’s Plan Finder. By entering your zip code and county, you will see available plans.

Sample UHC Medicare Advantage plans from across the country

City/PlanMonthly premium*Health plan deductibleDrug plan deductibleOut-of-pocket maxPrimary doctorSpecialist
Duluth, MN
UHC AARP Medicare Advantage Headwaters (PPO)
$0
(with drug plan)
$0$395$6,700
in- and out-of-network
$20
copay per visit
$50
copay per visit
Houston, TX
UHC AARP Medicare Advantage Plan 2 (HMO)
$0
(with drug plan)
$0$195$5,900
in- and out-of-network
$0
copay per visit
$45
copay per visit
Jacksonville, FL
UHC AARP Medicare Advantage Choice Essential (Regional PPO)
$0
(no drug plan)

$0
N/A$10,000
in- and out-of network
$6700
in network
$10
copay per visit
$50
copay per visit
Philadelphia, PA
AARP Medicare Advantage Choice Plan 2 (PPO)
$0
(with drug plan)
$500$0$10,000
in- and out-of network
$6700
in network
$0
copay per visit
$35
copay per visit
San Diego, CA
UHC Sharp SecureHorizons Plan by UHC (HMO)
$0
(with drug plan)
$0$0$3,400
in-network
$5
copay per visit
$35
copay per visit

*Note these monthly premiums don’t include the Medicare Part B premium of $144.60 for 2020. You will pay this fee in addition to any monthly premium your plan has.

Anyone who is eligible for Medicare is eligible to purchase a Medicare Advantage plan. Examples include:

  • those who are age 65
  • those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that qualify for Medicare
  • those with end stage renal disease that qualify for Medicare
  • those with a disability that qualify for Medicare

When you choose Medicare Advantage, you cannot purchase Medicare supplement insurance known as Medigap. You also cannot purchase a Medicare Part D plan if your Medicare Advantage plan offers prescription drug coverage.

Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans have specific times when you can enroll or change your plan. These deadlines include:

  • Initial enrollment period: This is the time period when you can initially enroll in Medicare Advantage, which is the 3 months before, the month of, and 3 months after your 65th birthday.
  • Medicare Advantage open enrollment period: This is the time when you can switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, which lasts from January 1 through March 31.
  • Annual enrollment period: This is the time from October 15 through December 7 when you can switch from original Medicare to Medicare Advantage or switch Medicare Advantage plans.

UHC offers a wide variety of Medicare Advantage plans across the country. These include HMO, PPO, and Special Needs Plans, among others. To find available plans near you, visit the Medicare.gov Plan Finder or call 1-800-MEDICARE (633-4273).