Aetna vs. UnitedHealthcare: Medicare Advantage Comparison

UHC is the largest Medicare Advantage provider, while Aetna has a greater percentage of highly rated plans.
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Some Aetna Medicare Advantage members have access to cost help with dental, vision and hearing care, as well as a variety of other benefits, such as in-home health visits and meal delivery after a hospital stay.
UnitedHealthcare offers the largest Medicare Advantage network of all companies, with more than 1 million network care providers.

Here’s a look at how Aetna and UnitedHealthcare compare.

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Aetna Medicare Advantage

Aetna Medicare Advantage - ME

Aetna

4.14

CMS Star Rating

Aetna Medicare Advantage plans are widely available and offer a variety of extra benefits. Member experience scores are also high, and star ratings land just above the industry average.

(866) 907-3870 / TTY 711

8am - 11pm EST, 7 days a week

Speak to a licensed insurance agent on MedicareEnrollment.com

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from MedicareEnrollment.com

States available

46 states and Washington, D.C.


Members in high-rated plans

Medium (50% to 89%)


Member experience

3.77 (Above average)


States available

46 states and Washington, D.C.


Members in high-rated plans

Medium (50% to 89%)


Member experience

3.77 (Above average)


Pros

  • In addition to dental, vision and hearing, many plans offer perks like an over-the-counter allowance, meal delivery and in-home health visits.
  • More than 8 in 10 Medicare-eligible beneficiaries have access to a $0-premium Aetna plan.
  • Available in 46 states and Washington, D.C.

Cons

  • Customer satisfaction lands below industry average in some major Medicare markets.

Other factors to consider

Provider size

4th-largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare Advantage enrollment

More than 3.8 million.

Percent of plans rated 4 stars or higher

58%.

Percent of plans with $0 premium

71%.

Plans available

HMO, HMO-POS, PPO, SNP.

Aetna Medicare Advantage service area

UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage

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UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage - UHC

UnitedHealthcare

4.17

CMS Star Rating

UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans are widely available and boast the largest Medicare Advantage provider network, although member experience ratings are average.

(855) 821-0556 / TTY 711

Call UnitedHealthcare

GET A QUOTE

from UnitedHealthcare

States available

49 states and Washington, D.C.


Members in high-rated plans

Medium (50% to 89%)


Member experience

3.55 (Average)


States available

49 states and Washington, D.C.


Members in high-rated plans

Medium (50% to 89%)


Member experience

3.55 (Average)


Pros

  • Largest Medicare Advantage medical network of all companies, with more than 1 million providers.
  • Largest Medicare Advantage dental network, and all standard plans offer dental coverage.
  • Available in 49 states and Washington, D.C.

Cons

  • Member experience scores are average.
  • Offers one of the highest-priced special needs plans, although lower-priced plans are also available.

Other factors to consider

Provider size

Largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare Advantage enrollment

More than 9.4 million.

Percent of plans rated 4 stars or higher

53%.

Percent of plans with $0 premium

69%.

Plans available

HMO, HMO-POS, PPO, PFFS, SNP.

UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage service area

Still deciding on the right carrier? Compare Medicare Advantage plans

Find the right Medicare Advantage plan

It’s important to do your research before selecting a Medicare Advantage plan for yourself. Here are some questions to consider asking:

  • What are the plan’s costs? Do you understand what the plan’s premium, deductibles, copays and/or coinsurance will be? Can you afford them?

  • Is your doctor in-network? If you have a preferred medical provider or providers, make sure they participate in the plan’s network.

  • Are your prescriptions covered? If you’re on medication, it’s crucial to understand how the plan covers it. What tier are your prescription drugs on, and are there any coverage rules that apply to them?

  • Is there dental coverage? Does the plan offer routine coverage for vision, dental and hearing needs?

  • Are there extras? Does the plan offer any extra benefits, such as fitness memberships, transportation benefits or meal delivery?

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

Medicare Advantage review methodology

The Medicare Advantage marketplace is concentrated among just a handful of companies; in many places, one insurer serves more than half of the market. NerdWallet reviewed 26 Medicare Advantage brands, with some insurers having more than one brand under their umbrella. (For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield includes the brands Anthem and Highmark.) At the national level, these reviews include nine of the 10 largest brands by enrollment. At the state level, our research includes at least one major insurer in 47 of the 49 states that offer Medicare Advantage plans, and includes the top two insurers in 35 of those states. (Alaska doesn't offer Medicare Advantage plans.) We also look at online search volume to identify regional and other notable players in the space.

NerdWallet’s Medicare Advantage reviews are based on ratings data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, as well as pricing, plan availability by state, plan types available, consumer experience, extra benefits offered and more. These reviews are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several plans to find the best coverage and rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines for additional information.