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AARP’s Medicare Supplement Insurance plans are insured exclusively by UnitedHealthcare. The AARP and UnitedHealthcare co-branded plans are available in every state and Washington, D.C.
UnitedHealthcare is the largest provider of Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap, and of Medicare Advantage plans .
AARP/UnitedHealthcare offers most Medigap plan types — often with multiple options for pricing and extra benefits. Prices are competitive, and complaint rates for the company’s Medicare Supplement Insurance plans are considerably lower than the market average.
Here’s what you should know about AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance from UnitedHealthcare.
AARP/UHC Medicare Supplement Insurance pros and cons
AARP and UnitedHealthcare’s Medigap offerings have advantages and disadvantages.
Available Medicare Supplement Insurance plans
AARP and UnitedHealthcare offer these Medicare Supplement Insurance plans in at least some locations for any Medicare member:
Medigap Plan A — the basic benefits included in every Medigap plan without any extras.
Medigap Plan B — basic benefits plus coverage for the Medicare Part A deductible.
Medigap Plan D — a mid-cost option that covers most Medigap benefits.
Medigap Plan G — the highest-coverage option available to new Medicare members.
Medigap Plan K — the lowest-cost Medigap plan, with 50% coverage for most benefits.
Medigap Plan L — a low-cost option with 75% coverage for most benefits.
Medigap Plan N — a plan with lower premiums but higher copays.
Plans A, B, G, K, L and N are generally available in all locations, while Plan D is less widely offered.
In addition, AARP and UnitedHealthcare offer plans in Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin according to each state's Medigap plan standards, which differ from the standardization system used in the majority of the country.
Medicare Select policies add network requirements
AARP and UnitedHealthcare offer Medicare Select policies in some locations. These plans cover the same Medicare services as any Medigap plan of the same type, but it requires beneficiaries to get inpatient services from in-network hospitals and health care providers.
In exchange for the network restrictions, Select plans offer lower premiums than their non-Select counterparts.
If you have a Medicare Select plan and get services from an out-of-network hospital, you become responsible for the Medicare Part A deductible, which is $1,556 in 2022. Exceptions are available for emergency services, services not available from an in-network hospital and when you’re more than 100 miles from home.
Select plans aren’t available in all areas or for all Medigap plan types. Enter your ZIP code on UnitedHealthcare’s website to check what’s available to you and to compare prices for Select and non-Select plans.
Medigap plans have standardized Medicare benefits, but insurers can offer additional perks. Here are examples of extra benefits available with some AARP/UnitedHealthcare policies:
24/7 nurse line: Members can call to speak with a nurse to ask questions, discuss concerns or get help accessing community resources.
Gym memberships: Some plans include gym memberships at no additional cost.
Discounts for dental, hearing and vision: Some plans include discounts on dental services, eye exams, eyewear and hearing devices from certain providers.
Driver safety course: Some plans grant members access to the AARP Smart Driver course. Completing that course might help members qualify for auto insurance discounts.
Note: In some cases, extra perks are included only in plans sold with the “+ wellness extras” label. In most cases, these extras carry an additional cost over a version of the same plan without the extras. However, in some states, such as Colorado, there is no option — plans automatically include the extras even though there’s no “+ wellness extras” label.
UnitedHealthcare Medicare Supplement Insurance service area
AARP offers UnitedHealthcare-insured Medicare Supplement Insurance plans in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
UnitedHealthcare is by far the largest Medicare Supplement Insurance provider. The company covers about 4.4 million Medigap beneficiaries, and its share of the total Medicare Supplement Insurance market is about 33.7% .
The following price quotes were obtained for three states representing above-average, average and below-average costs for Medicare Supplement Insurance, when compared across all plans and providers using pricing data from Medicare.gov :
Colorado: More expensive than average.
North Carolina: Average cost for the U.S.
Ohio: Less expensive than average.
The sections below show pricing information from UnitedHealthcare for a 65-year-old female nonsmoker and reflect base pricing with discounts removed or factored out whenever the option was available. (Note: Some Medigap prices may be higher for males.)
For comparison, each table also includes the price for the least-expensive option to buy the same plan from other providers, based on information from Medicare.gov. For example, AARP/UnitedHealthcare’s price for Medigap Plan A in Fort Collins, Colorado, appears alongside the lowest price on Medicare.gov for all Plan A policies available in Fort Collins to an applicant with identical demographics.
On average, AARP/UnitedHealthcare’s lowest quoted prices for Medigap Plan A were about 15% higher than the least-expensive Plan A policy in the area.
On average, AARP/UnitedHealthcare’s quoted prices for Medigap Plan B were about 16% higher than the least-expensive Plan B policy in the area.
On average, UnitedHealthcare’s lowest quoted prices for non-Select Medigap Plan G policies were about 17% higher than the least-expensive Plan G policy in the area.
On average, AARP/UnitedHealthcare’s quoted prices for Medigap Plan K were about 17% higher than the least-expensive Plan K policy in the area.
On average, UnitedHealthcare’s quoted prices for Medigap Plan L were about 32% higher than the least-expensive Plan L policy in the area.
On average, AARP/UnitedHealthcare’s lowest quoted prices for non-Select Medigap Plan N policies were about 26% higher than the least-expensive Plan N policy in the area.
You need to have an AARP membership to enroll in an AARP-branded insurance policy. An AARP membership generally costs $16 per year. Discounts are available if you sign up for automatic renewal or longer memberships terms.
Here are several discounts AARP and UnitedHealthcare offer to some Medicare Supplement Insurance applicants:
Multiple policies: Qualifying members can get up to 15% off of monthly premiums if two or more members with the same AARP membership number have eligible AARP-branded Medigap policies. This discount can’t be combined with the household discount.
Household: Qualifying members can get a discount of up to 10% off of monthly premiums if they live with another household member who is also an AARP member. This discount can’t be combined with the multiple policy discount.
Electronic funds transfer: Qualifying members can get up to $4 per month off of premiums for paying with an electronic funds transfer from their bank account.
Available discounts can vary according to factors such as your location, household status and how you apply for a policy.
UnitedHealthcare’s spending on care
71.7% for member benefits
Medicare Supplement Insurance providers are required to report data on the premiums they collect and how much they spend to provide benefits for members.
Based on the most recent year of data, AARP/UnitedHealthcare Medicare Supplement Insurance plans spend about 71.7% of premiums on member benefits . (The other 28.3% goes to overhead expenses like administrative costs, marketing, salaries and commissions.)
For comparison, the average for all providers is 72.3%. The minimum required by law for individual Medigap policies is 60% .
63% below average
Members file complaints about AARP/UnitedHealthcare Medicare Supplement Insurance plans at a rate almost 63% below the average for all Medigap plans. This is according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for UnitedHealthcare and its subsidiaries that sell Medigap policies .
Other types of insurance offered by UnitedHealthcare and those subsidiaries don’t have as few complaints, with complaint rates across all policy types about 7% above the average for all insurers over the same three years of data.
Here’s how AARP/UnitedHealthcare Medigap members can contact customer service:
Call UnitedHealthcare Medicare Supplement Insurance customer service at 800-523-5800 (TTY dial 711 and follow the prompts).
Get help online by logging into UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Supplement member site.
Contact UnitedHealthcare through Facebook.
Contact UnitedHealthcare through Twitter.
There are a few companies that weigh in on customers’ experiences with insurers or the strength of the company in question, and we’ve included two here:
Here's how Medicare Supplement Insurance providers compare with AARP/UnitedHealthcare.
Compare Medicare Supplement Insurance providers
Complaint rate: 67% worse than the market average.
Service area: 43 states.
Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 75.6%.
Complaint rate: 63% better than the market average.
Service area: 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 71.7%.
Complaint rate: 24% worse than the market average.
Service area: 16 states.
Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 68.6%.
Complaint rate: 0.4% better than the market average.
Service area: 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 72.6%.
Complaint rate: 40% worse than the market average.
Service area: 48 states and Washington, D.C.
Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 75%.
Complaint rate: 335% worse than the market average.
Service area: 49 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 77%.
Complaint rate: 62% better than the market average.
Service area: 49 states and Washington, D.C.
Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 71.4%.
Complaint rate: 50% better than the market average.
Service area: 45 states and Washington, D.C.
Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 71.7%.
AARP is a nonprofit interest group and advocacy organization. It advocates for local, state and national policies on behalf of older Americans. AARP members can access benefits through the organization, including discounts on products and services.
UnitedHealthcare is part of UnitedHealth Group, which is headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota. It's the largest health insurance company in the U.S. The company offers individual- and employer-based health insurance plans, Medicare and Medicaid plans, dental and vision plans and other types of supplemental insurance. In 2021, UnitedHealthcare reported $222.9 billion in revenue.
Find the right Medicare Supplement Insurance plan
Because Medigap plans are standardized, you can get precisely the same Medicare benefits from any company offering the plan. So when you shop, keep these considerations in mind to find the best policy to fit your needs:
Is your preferred plan available? Health insurance companies don’t always sell every plan, so check who sells the plan you want to buy in your area.
What are the premiums? Prices for the same plan can vary between companies, so check to find the most competitive rates.
Will your premiums change over time? Most policies cost more as you age, but some companies offer policies that let you lock in a price when you sign up.
Are there extras? Medigap plans’ core benefits are standardized, but in certain cases, some companies include such perks as discount programs or gym memberships.
If you have additional questions about Medicare, visit Medicare.gov or call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227, TTY 877-486-2048).