Who Is UnitedHealthcare?
If you’re looking for a health insurance company with plenty of experience, UnitedHealthcare is deserving of a second look. Not only is it one of the largest insurance companies in the United States,1 but it offers a variety of plans to satisfy a multitude of needs. Its customer base stretches across the country from Colorado to Virginia to Florida.
What You Need to Know
UnitedHealthcare is one of the country’s largest health insurance companies, with a wide assortment of plans for individuals, families, businesses, and Medicare recipients.
UnitedHealthcare is financially strong, with high rankings from S&P Global, AM Best, and Fitch.
Customer service may be a weak spot for UnitedHealthcare as the claim-handling process leads to the most complaints.
Basics on UnitedHealthcare Health Insurance Company
UnitedHealthcare is a company that offers health benefit programs for employers, individuals, as well as Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.2 It is a division of UnitedHealth Group,3 a global company based in Minnesota,4 that was founded in 1977.5 In addition to providing health care coverage through UnitedHealthcare, UnitedHealth Group offers information and technology-enabled health solutions through another division called Optum.6
UnitedHealthcare provides health insurance benefits, including prescription drug coverage, to more than 45 million people across the globe.7
In addition to operating in the United States in states like Illinois or Massachusetts, UnitedHealthcare offers plans in 130 countries through its subsidiary UnitedHealthcare Global. The company serves markets in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia.8
There is no shortage of network providers that work with UnitedHealthcare whether you are part of a preferred provider organization (PPO) or a health maintenance organization (HMO). More than 1.3 million physicians and other care professionals and 6,500 hospitals and care facilities in the U.S. partner with the health insurance giant.9
What Health Insurance Does UnitedHealthcare Offer?
No matter what type of insurance plan you are looking for, there is a good chance you will find it. Among the types of coverage offered are:
- Individual plans to provide coverage for medical expenses you incur before you turn 65.10 These include Affordable Care Act plans available on the Health Insurance Marketplace.
- Family plans to provide coverage for yourself, as well as a partner or children.11
- Group plans for small businesses who want to provide coverage for their employees as a benefit.12
- Limited medical plans, such as short-term health insurance, that provide temporary coverage or bridge any gaps in coverage that you have with other insurance products13
- Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplement policies designed for those 65 or older, as well as options for those under 65 who have a disability.14
- Supplemental plans that provide coverage for specific circumstances such as critical illness, hospitalization or accidents.15
- Other options including dental, life and vision insurance and health savings accounts.
What Are Member Benefits for UnitedHealthcare?
If you become a UnitedHealthcare policyholder, there are several benefits that come with your coverage. Among the offerings your premiums pay for are telehealth and virtual visits16 – benefits that have become particularly popular during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other member benefits include weight loss support through an online weight loss program17 and a rewards program to keep you motivated to reach your healthy goals.18
How Do You Enroll in Coverage with UnitedHealthcare?
If you decide that United Healthcare is the insurance company for you, there are a number of ways you can enroll in coverage.
You can also call the company at 1-844-422-6916.20 If you would prefer to have someone walk you through the process of selecting your insurance coverage, you may be able to enroll in coverage through a licensed insurance agent, as UnitedHealthcare also works closely with brokers and insurance consultants.21
How Do You File Claims with UnitedHealthcare?
While it’s important to have a health insurance policy you can depend on, it is critical that you feel supported when it’s time to file a claim. If you need medical care and receive it from a network provider, UnitedHealthcare will pay the company directly except for any deductible, copayments or coinsurance that you owe yourself.22
However, if you receive covered medical services from a provider outside the network, you must submit a claim within 90 days of the time the service was performed. To request payment, you will need to provide information such as the cost of the procedure, the diagnosis from a physician and the date your illness or injury began.23
How is UnitedHealthcare Rated?
Another way to tell if an insurance provider is among the best health insurance companies is to check how outside companies rate it in terms of financial strength and customer satisfaction.
Financially, UnitedHealthcare appears to be on solid ground, as A.M. Best awarded it the Financial Strength Rating of an “A,” which is the equivalent to “Excellent,” in December 2020.24
On top of that, Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings gave UnitedHealth Group an “A+/A-1” rating and its core insurance subsidiaries a rating of “AA-” when it comes to financial strength.25
Fitch Ratings also gave UnitedHealthcare an “AA-” rating on financial strength.26
Customer Satisfaction is another key indicator of a company’s performance. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, UnitedHealthcare scored a 72 in 2020, down 4% from the year before.27
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners tracks complaints about insurance companies. The most frequent complaints by far about UnitedHealthcare had to do with the way claims were handled. There were 596 complaints that a claim was denied and 533 complaints about an unsatisfactory settlement offer.28
Also, on the Better Business Bureau’s website, UnitedHealth Group scored an average of 1.04 out of 5 stars on an average of 247 customer reviews.29
However, UnitedHealthcare appears to be taking steps to ensure that customers and providers have a good experience. For example, the company has overhauled its payment system to replace paper checks with electronic payments so providers can get paid faster and claims can be satisfied with less hassle.30
What Are Strengths of UnitedHealthcare?
UnitedHealthcare has a long history of delivering healthcare to families and businesses, and it is financially strong enough to withstand the ups and downs in the health insurance industry. Its varied assortment of health insurance plans provide options to satisfy consumers whether they are looking for full coverage or a limited policy to augment their current health insurance coverage.
What Are Weaknesses of UnitedHealthcare?
Customer satisfaction does not appear to be UnitedHealthcare’s strong point. The company’s American Customer Satisfaction Index score suggests that 2020 may have been a worse-than-usual year as far as current policyholders are concerned.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HealthCareInsider.com or HealthCare, Inc.