AARP Medicare Advantage 2021 Review

Check out available plans, benefits and ratings of AARP Medicare Advantage and related plans in 2021.
Kate AshfordJun 16, 2021

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What’s inside

AARP aims to enrich the lives of people 50 and older, offering benefits like travel and restaurant discounts, and advice on health and retirement. The group also has partnered with UnitedHealthcare to offer Medicare Advantage Plans to people who are eligible for Medicare.

AARP’s Medicare Advantage Plans are insured by UnitedHealthcare — the largest Medicare Advantage provider in the country — and offer several benefits that aren’t available in Original Medicare, such as preventive dental care, vision care and hearing exams.

Here’s what you should know about AARP Medicare Advantage.

AARP’s Medicare offerings have strong pros:

AARP Medicare Advantage plans vary in terms of structure, costs and benefits available. The company offers HMO and PPO plans, as well as stand-alone prescription drug plans.

While many of AARP Medicare Advantage plans include Part D drug coverage, there are also stand-alone . These plans are meant to accompany and and don't provide medical coverage.

AARP and UnitedHealthcare offer drug coverage through AARP MedicareRx plans. These plans include commonly used generic and brand name prescription drugs, but different plans offer different kinds of coverage. AARP offers three Part D plan options:

AARP Medicare Advantage offers most members access to , and discounted . Many of its plans offer other benefits as well. Here are a few standouts:

AARP Medicare Advantage members can contact their plan’s customer service (managed by UnitedHealthcare) in the following ways:

AARP Medicare Advantage plans are available in 46 states, and about 3.7 million people are enrolled in AARP plans as of May 2021.

Overall, UnitedHealthcare is the largest health insurer in the country , and it is the largest among for-profit health plans . More than 6.5 million beneficiaries are enrolled in a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plan, and the company added 827,000 new members for the 2021 plan year.

Costs for Medicare Advantage plans will depend on your plan, your geographic location and your health needs. One of the is the plan’s premium. Many of AARP’s Medicare Advantage plans offer $0 premiums, and 2.6 million members (about 70%) are enrolled in $0 premium plans. Of AARP plans that have a premium, the average monthly premium for Medicare Part C and Part D is $39.43.

Even as a Medicare Advantage user, you’ll still be responsible for paying your Medicare Part B premium, which is at least $148.50 in 2021. (Most people pay this standard amount, but if your income is above a certain threshold, you’ll pay more.)

Other out-of-pocket costs to consider include:

To get a sense of costs, use Medicare’s Plan Finder to compare information among available plans in your area. You can select by insurance carrier to see only UnitedHealthcare plans, or compare across carriers. You can also shop directly from by entering your ZIP code, and you’ll be able to compare the plans available.

Average star rating: 3.9

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) maintain their own database of star ratings on every Medicare Advantage and separate Medicare Part D plan, ranging from best (5 stars) to worst (1 star). The agency bases these ratings on plans’ quality of care and measurements of customer satisfaction, and ratings may change from year to year.

Based on the most recent year of data, AARP Medicare Advantage plans get an average rating of 3.9, which is the same average as UnitedHealthcare’s plans overall . For comparison, the average star rating for plans from all providers was 4.06 .

Of the AARP Medicare Advantage plans with star ratings in 2021, 15% of them are rated 4.5, and 59% of them are rated 4.0. Another 26% received a rating of 3.5, and just 1% were rated 3.0.

You can find a plan’s rating with the .

Get more information below about some of the major Medicare Advantage providers:

It’s important to do your research before selecting a health plan. Here are some questions to consider:

If you have additional questions about Medicare, visit Medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227, TTY 877-486-2048).

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