UnitedHealthcare’s 2021 Medicare Plans Bring Unique Solutions for Unique Times


UnitedHealthcare introduced its 2021 Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans, showcasing affordable coverage, exclusive benefits, expanded plan access and a simplified member experience that connects people to quality care – when and where they need it.

“It is more important than ever during times like these to provide stability and peace of mind for people when it comes to their care and coverage,” said Tim Noel, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. “We have listened intently to our members, and to deliver on the stable, comprehensive coverage they expect and deserve, we are committed to delivering Medicare plans with more: more $0 and low-premium plans and $0 copays; more benefits and access to care – all adding up to more value for the people we serve.”

Currently, more than 6.5 million peoplei are enrolled in UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans. In 2021, the company will expand its service area to reach nearly 3.2 million additional people in nearly 300 counties – the company’s largest footprint expansion in five years.i

Highlights of UnitedHealthcare’s 2021 Medicare Advantage plans include:

More Access to Care from Anywhere to Bring Peace of Mind

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a watershed moment that is profoundly altering the health care landscape. At-home health care went from being a convenient care option to, at times, the only option for many people,” said Noel. “And while COVID-19 changed so much for so many of us, it did not change UnitedHealthcare’s unwavering commitment to helping people access the care they need, whether in a clinical setting or at home.”

Offerings that help enable more access to care include:

Telehealth Visits: All plans will offer telehealth visits with a $0 copay.i
Medicare National Network: The nation’s largest Medicare Advantage networkiii will be available across more plans, including many HMO plans. Whether at home or traveling, members pay network costs when they see any of the more than 850,000 network care providers.
HouseCalls: Most plans will include HouseCalls, a program that offers people a yearly visit with a licensed clinician from the comfort of home, helping to coordinate needed care – including with an individual’s primary care provider; conducting health screenings and providing education on the management of chronic conditions. The company expects to complete nearly 1.7 million HouseCalls for its members in 2020.
Tailored support: To provide a more personal and simpler member experience, UnitedHealthcare is rolling out a market-aligned Advocate4Me service model that empowers advocates’ expertise within their designated regions. This includes increased knowledge of the market, available plans, network and product offerings – helping to drive more tailored support, reduce transfer rates and improve satisfaction.
Navigate4Me: For people in UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans who have complex health care needs, such as those facing an acute health event like a surgery or cancer treatment, those managing a chronic illness like COPD or diabetes or those in Dual Special Needs Plans, Navigate4Me offers one-on-one support. A single point of contact helps to coordinate care, address claims issues, provide social support and assist with other needs. For members impacted by COVID-19, this service also offers a helping hand to navigate safe quarantine, obtain medication and food when isolated and access clinical care if needed. One million people will have a dedicated UnitedHealthcare navigator by the end of 2020.

Simple, Affordable Products

“In listening to the people we serve, we know the key is affordable, predictable coverage that is easy to use and understand,” said Steve Warner, senior vice president of Medicare Advantage, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. “We purposefully design our products to meet consumers’ expectations around affordability and simplicity.”

Plans and product features that will help deliver cost savings and a simpler consumer experience in 2021 include:

Premiums: Nearly 2.5 million members will see $0 Medicare Advantage premiums in 2021, and almost all will see stable or reduced premiums.i
Medicare Advantage Patriot Plans: The UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Patriot plans are designed specifically with veterans in mind, as well as other individuals with existing drug coverage. These plans will provide broad access to care and benefits beyond Original Medicare like dental, vision and fitness, and nearly all will have a $0 premium, and many will include a Part B premium rebate – up to $100 per month.
$0 Copays: Almost all plans will have $0 copays on the following: medical and behavioral telehealth visits; labs; routine vision and hearing exams; colonoscopies and mammograms; and cardiac rehab. Additionally, nearly everyone in UnitedHealthcare’s coverage area will have access to a plan with $0 primary care copays.
Prescription Drug Affordability: Most plans include prescription drug coverage, and with the goals of cost savings, price predictability and transparency, UnitedHealthcare is offering a variety of ways for people to save.
Part D Senior Savings Model: The company will offer broad access to Medicare Advantage and Part D plans that limit monthly out-of-pocket costs to $35 for all covered insulin, helping people better predict their monthly expenses and amounting to projected average annual savings of nearly $450 for beneficiaries who take insulin.
$0 Drug Copays on Dual Special Needs Plans (D-SNP): In 2021, UnitedHealthcare will be removing copays on covered drugs on most D-SNP plans, giving people access to the prescription drugs they need at no out-of-pocket cost.
Lower Costs and More Generics Covered: Even more generic prescription drugs are covered with low to $0 copays, including tier 1 and tier 2.
Bonus Drug Coverage: To lower out-of-pocket costs and simplify the consumer experience, the majority of UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans will offer bonus drug coverage for common non-Medicare covered prescription drugs, including drugs for erectile dysfunction and commonly used prescription vitamins like vitamin D, folic acid and vitamin B12.
Home Delivery: Most plans also offer $0 copays for tier 1 and tier 2 drugs ordered through the OptumRx home delivery pharmacy.i

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. In the United States, UnitedHealthcare offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1.3 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. The company also provides health benefits and delivers care to people through owned and operated health care facilities in South America. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group, a diversified health care company.