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Periodic Contributor

Is AARP United Healthcare Medicare supplimental insurance as bad as the customer reviews say??

Hi,
AARP's Medicare Supplemental Medicare Insurance sounds great... but I decided that before I purchase it I should read the reviews.

I was astounded!

 

Consumer affairs reviews were the worst I have EVER seen for any product or service from any company. People were talking about outright misrepresentation of services, copays, non-existent customer service. Representatives simply hanging up on customers, drug formularies not covering many common medications. Increasing co-pays. A litany of misrepresentation and worse.


Now I understand the Internet. You will always find people more willing to badmouth a product or service than to praise it... but I looked for positive reviews and found none...

 

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/insurance/aarp_medicare.html

 

Is it really this bad? If so why does AARP tolerate this if they are, as they claim, an organization that exists to promote the best interests of senior citizens?

 

Have I simply been looking for reviews of AARP United Healthcare supplemental insurance in the wrong places?

 

Can anyone here describe their own experience with this insurance? I live in California... but will be moving to Arizona...

 

If not AARP/UHC insurance, can anyone here recommend a company for Medicare supplemental insurance with which they have had a positive experience?

 

Thanks

 

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Contributor

Obviously, you don't understand English..

I know what I will do come open enrollment/

Now for the last time....

Leave me alone.

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Regular Contributor

 First, i want to thank you for your service and sacrifice BUT a Medicare Supplement DOES NOT.....REPEAT DOES NOT cover medications.  No Medicare Supplement from any carrier covers medications.  So if your AARP Medicare Supplement does not approve a medication it is because by law, they are not allowed to cover them.  You have to have a Part D plan for your medications and that could be with any carrier and does not have to be with the same carrier as your Medicare Supplement.  Second, heavy pain meds now have new government imposed restrictions on them because of their value as street drugs so yes, they can be more difficult to get and yes, people are suffering because of these federal government imposed restrictions.  Instead of camping out in front of the Medicare SUPPLEMENT office, who has no power to help you, camp out in front of your Congressman or Senators office because that is where the problem lies. 

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Gold Conversationalist


@Hassiman wrote:

Hi,
AARP's Medicare Supplemental Medicare Insurance sounds great... but I decided that before I purchase it I should read the reviews.

I was astounded! Consumer affairs reviews were the worst I have EVER seen for any product or service from any company.

 


This topic gets a lot of hits. Please note that the question was first asked two years ago and then a few comments were made in 2016 and about a dozen have been made since mid March 2017. Take all of them with that timing in mind as well as keep in mind that the private Medicare supplement insurance discussed here -- from AARP or anyone else -- varies from state to state in price, discount structures and what it may or may not cover. It even varies in terms if all 'Plans' -- A, C, F, G, and so forth -- are available. Some states do not even have 'Plans' that use the lettering system.  In some states there is continuous, open enrollment but in some states that is not true. You need to look only at the plans available in your states to do a comparison.

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Newbie

Every "letter" plan has identical coverage in all states and D.C.
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Gold Conversationalist


@diginsburg wrote:
Every "letter" plan has identical coverage in all states and D.C.

Your statement is accurate with some very small differences. That is not the point however of this thread. Not all private Medigap "letter plan" Medicare supplements are offered in all states and insurance companies do not even offer private "letter plan" Medigap insurance in some states (it's against those states' laws although they have similar policies to some of the letter plans--some better and some worse).

 

Also the prices vary widely even in state and guaranteed enrollment rules differ widely across state lines even for the same letter plan from the same insurance company. Private Medigap insurance is controlled by your state of legal residence when you sign up (see Note); those policies are the only thing you should compare.

 

Note: State of legal residence is even an issue so make sure you think that through if you intend to or might move later

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Trusted Contributor

"Note: State of legal residence is even an issue so make sure you think that through if you intend to or might move later."

 

State of legal residence is only an issue when the policy is first issued.  If you move states thereafter, the policy follows you and is still valid.  This is great for insurers that issue policies in New York (where costs are expensive) and the policy holder moves to West Virginia (where costs are relatively inexpensive) but bad for insurers who issue a policy in West Virginia and the policy holder then moves to New York!  (Not that many people would move from WV to NY!)

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Gold Conversationalist


@sktn77a wrote:

"Note: State of legal residence is even an issue so make sure you think that through if you intend to or might move later."

 

State of legal residence is only an issue when the policy is first issued.  If you move states thereafter, the policy follows you and is still valid.  This is great for insurers that issue policies in New York (where costs are expensive) and the policy holder moves to West Virginia (where costs are relatively inexpensive) but bad for insurers who issue a policy in West Virginia and the policy holder then moves to New York!  (Not that many people would move from WV to NY!)


Perhaps you did not mean to trivialize this subject with the words "only an issue when the policy is first" written.  But just in case some future reader thinks the word "only" implies that this is no big deal, it is a big deal. If where you live legally when you are first eligible for or sign up for a Medicare supplement is different than where you think you might end up legally residing, you need to think this through because some states have open, continuous sign up with community rating and others have various types of retrictions related to pre-existing conditions and age rating  with and without discounts (or some different mix of these characteristics)

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Periodic Contributor

I have had AARP/UHC Supplemental Plan F for 11 years since I retired.   I continue to be very happy with my plan.  The premiums do increase each year, but the increases are comparable to other companies and the customer service I receive is a blessing.   I recommended the same policy to my sister who retired a couple of years after I did, and she is also very happy with the plan.    I will continue to recommend this plan, and I intend to keep it for the rest of my days.  Thank you United Health Care!

 

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Honored Social Butterfly

I've only been on Medicare a year and a half and have the AARP Plan F. I'm happy. I see the doc every three months, have various blood tests, and have yet to pay for anything out-of-pocket except for meds. 


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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Regular Contributor

A couple of months ago, I had two issues to address--get a new AARP card mailed and a United Healthcare Part D Supplement ID. I went ahead and printed the online card while waiting, which had the same membership number printed on my AARP Chase Visa Rewards credit card, but when the mail arrived I had a new AARP membership number. I called United Healthcare and was informed that my old number was now my Part D Supplement insurance policy number, so I orderwd an ID card for that over the phone. Now I get loads of junk mail asking if I would like to try and qualify for a United Healthcare policy wveryday, but no insurance supplement card to go with the Medicare card I have had since August of 1989.

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Periodic Contributor

I am a 69 year old female and live in Ohio.  I have been on the United Healthcare Supplelmental Plan F insurance since I turned 65.   I have been completely happy with the plan and have not had any problems what so ever.   I like the plan because there is no paperwork involved, I can go to any doctor and hospital I want without any referrals, the customer service has been good, my doctors always get paid with no problems, and it is the most convenient of all the plans.  I have my monthly insurance fee paid electronically, so I rarely need to give my medical insurance a second thought.     I suggest you read all the information regarding all plans to educate yourself on making the best choice for you.  Their website provides lot of useful information and comparison charts.   The Supplemental Plan F is probably the most expensive, but I feel it is worth it for all the options and convenience factors.   I cannot respond to problems others have had -- this feedback is only based upon my own experience for the past 4 years.  

Good luck to you. 

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My wife and I have had the Plan F Supplemental coverage via AARP/UHC for two years. We are very happy with the plan.  We have no co-pays.  However, be advised that the plan cost has increased 7.5% per year since we signed on.  We started out at $265 a month and now we are at $306 a month.  I created a spreadsheet projecting a 7.5% cost increase over the next 20 years and there is definitely a point where the coverage will no longer be affordable and it looks for us like it will be when we are in our mid-70's.

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Regular Contributor

Did you figure in that after age 75 the price increases drop in HALF?
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Contributor

You've commented 5 times in one day and 4 more times in March... calm down! You're flooding other commenters inbox. 

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Regular Contributor

My mom had the same issue and brought it to my attention. After doing some research I found a good website that provided useful information and other options that would give her the same coverage and reduce the cost. I found out that Plan F is going away soon and that Plan G would be the best alternative... so keep that in mind as well. Here is some info I found on Plan G... 

 

https://www.medicarefaq.com/medicare-supplement/plan-g/

Melissa Kay
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Regular Contributor

Plan F is going away ONLY for those that are new enrollees after 2020. If you have Plan F now, or are eligible for it now, you can have it and keep it FOREVER. IT WILL NOT BE TAKEN AWAY FROM YOU!!!
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Honored Social Butterfly


@jm590797 wrote:

My wife and I have had the Plan F Supplemental coverage via AARP/UHC for two years. We are very happy with the plan.  We have no co-pays.  However, be advised that the plan cost has increased 7.5% per year since we signed on.  We started out at $265 a month and now we are at $306 a month.  I created a spreadsheet projecting a 7.5% cost increase over the next 20 years and there is definitely a point where the coverage will no longer be affordable and it looks for us like it will be when we are in our mid-70's.


Supplemental Medicare plans are governed by the federal government AND the state in which you live. The rating structure is based upon the way your state has decided to do it.  It could be age related, community based, etc.  So before you determine fault for rate increases, then you need to determine how your state has legislated for these plans to be structured.

Here are are some informational links -

 

https://www.medicare.gov/supplement-other-insurance/compare-medigap/compare-medigap.html

 

http://www.ehealthmedicare.com/medicare-supplement/issue-age-pricing/

 

Any other increase, as most other insurance plans, has to be approved by your insurance commissioner if it is over some stated threshold.

 

 Plan F is one of the most expensive supplemental plans, if not the most expensive.  This is because it covers just about everything that Medicare does not pay with NO out of pocket on your part, in fact it even covers your deductible.  

 

This is type of plan may well go the way of the dinosaurs and not to far into the future because one of the ways to help control healthcare cost is to have the beneficiaries have at least some out of pocket.  The current Administration has already suggested this several times and it seems to be in the investigational works.

If you want to keep this type of coverage, you have to stay enrolled and pay your premiums.  For others just signing up, someday these type plans might not be available at all.

 

 

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Regular Contributor

The rate increases drop in half at age 75.  You get a 30% discount off the standard rate at age 65 and lose 3% of the discount per year till age 75 when you ONLY get inflation rate increases.  They do NOT raise the premiums because of age.  They are the ONLY carrier that does community rating.  Everyone of every age gets the same rate.  PLUS, they are the ONLY carrier that will let you change plan levels any time of year instead of only once a year in Open Enrollment (that is the only time other carriers let you change).  In July, they will have a plan G which will be cheaper and they have always had a Plan N.  SO...if $306 is too expensive for 2 people, one or both of you can pick up the phone and say "I want to go to Plan N."  At the first of the next month, they will have you on a plan N*.  Then 2 months later you are planning a hip replacement, you call them "I want to go back to plan F (full coverage)".  The first of the next month, you are on Plan F.  You CAN control costs better than with ANY other company.  *be aware that any plan other than Plan F means you have to pay deductibles and maybe coinsurance too and that could cost more out of pocket than just staying on Plan F...especially if you have a heart attack ($147,000 for a friend of mine 5 days in the hospital).

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Trusted Contributor

Without getting into the positive or negative reviews of the AARP/UHC medicare supplement plan F, it is interesting to note that this is one of the most expensive Plan F offerings out there. How come AARP, perhaps the largest organizations out there (excepting the various governments and government agencies), can't negotiate a better deal with UHC?

For example, including the somewhat odd decreasing "discount" applied over the first decade, and not accounting for any group rate increases over the next 25 years, the premiums alone would amount to over $60,000 during this time! Compare this to, say, the Old Surety Insurance Company's plan F which would cost approx $39,000 for the same coverage over the same time period. Note that this is an "issue age" policy which, unlike an "attained age" policy, is comparable to AARP/UHC's "no-age" policy.

I don't see much benefit to being a member of AARP and blindly purchasing their medigap policy because their stated mission is to look after seniors' best interests. Can someone perhaps help me understand why I should even bother with the AARP membership and benefits when one of their primary products/services appears to be one of the least competitive in the market?
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Regular Contributor

No, it is NOT one of the most expensive plans out there.  You have not shopped well.  I have.  It is not the cheapest but it is on the lower end of the plans in cost and every plan cheaper was from companies that had very high rate increases after the first 3 years or were financially unstable or had questionable ethics.  AARP is stable, predictable and by age 75 IS one of the cheapest. 

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Honored Social Butterfly

@sktn77a

 

A link for you 

How to compare Medigap policies from Medicare.gov

 

Federal and state laws govern Medigap policies.

If Plan F is available in your state, all Plan F's must cover the same Medicare benefits - shown in the Medicare.gov link.

So if you are only looking for these benefits, don't get confused by one insurer being more famous than another.

 

I always thought that state law regulates how Medigap policies are rated and thus all in your state would use the same rating method - community rated / age related, etc.

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Regular Contributor

The federal government says they all must cover the same things BUT it does NOT say that they can't increase their premiums through the roof once you are enrolled. Almost all other carriers increase your premium every year you get older FOREVER. AARP only increases premiums on every person of every age in over 100+ zip codes. So you can get to be 90 and pay the same as the 70 year old down the street in your area.
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Trusted Contributor

Thanks Gail1.  Yes, I'm familiar with that.  North Carolina has all three different rated policies so you have to be careful you're comparing apples to apples.  My concern, however was that AARP endorses only one policy and it is one of the most expensive.  Given that all Plan F policies must provide identica coverage, I can't figure out why the AARP-endorsed policy is so expensive?

 

Unless.......................

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Regular Contributor

AARP plans are NOT the most expensive. I ran a cost comparison for Plan F with all the carriers in my area. Only 3 were less expensive and they offered far fewer benefits and much HIGHER rate increases in the coming years when the AARP plans were lowering their rate increases in the coming years.
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Periodic Contributor

Supplement Benefits for each letter are Federal Regulated and all the Same. Customer Service can vary but that is it. In my area AARP is 20-30% higher than most plans. AARP also says that their rate is 30% discount at 65. Then it will increase 3% each year for 10 years plus they add yearly 'inflation' rate hikes on top of that. My Mom is paying 200 for AARP plan F at age 75 plus 134 for part B. AARP plan has never paid out more than 500 in any year since she was 65 some years less than 100. It is the drugs that devastate Seniors financially. For AARP plan to pay out more than Premiums in 1 year would take devastating illness or accident and even then maybe only 1 or 2k over premium.
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Regular Contributor

Your can consider herself lucky as snce I have had plan F I have been in the hospital 3 times (ovenight) for fainting spells, suffered a total broken arm with over $100,000 worth of hosptial bills and Never ( Say Never) saw one bill!!! The stays in the hospitals were over $7,000 each time and I am only 68 years old!! Plan F is great but for others there is also a plan G that is a little cheaper but doesn't cover a basic Medicare deductble (where F does)

Now not all states provide the discount at 65 and then the upcharges as noted for 10 years. I know NJ and PA do but some other states just have flat rates depending on your age, so that is something one needs to consider as to where they live.

Yes there are cheaper plans but yes they are All Federally governed with similar rates nationwide. But the beauty is that you can go to any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare Nationwide and into Canada whreas much much cheaper plans like Medciare Advantage plans have networks regionally (like HMO's) and are very very very expensive if you go out of the network or need to travel and get sick!

 

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Periodic Contributor

Stop scaring others with your lack of understanding or is it  you are an Insurance sales person?Let someone show proof that Medicare payed these grossly over priced bills when the conditions and Surgery mentioned don't warrant price Insurance and Medicare pay for those services. If you never saw a Bill how do you know what Medicare actually paid? Please research how all this billing works before you scare your fellow seniors into paying there needed income on large  premiums[ maybe unessasaraly] and keeping Insurance Industry Filthy rich. I am not saying if it's afforable for someone and they just want security of never paying anything ever fine go for it. But knowledge is Power AND finding out the reality of 'What is Billed and What is actually paid' is something that needs to come to light so we can all make a Educated not Fear based decision

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Periodic Contributor

PS ; This is excerpt from link below

The first bill is for a patient who spent two days in the hospital, and has private insurance (a Medicare advantage program). Let’s see how the numbers add up. In the bottom right corner is the Account Summary. From the first line, you can see that the total bill came to $21,274.49, or about $10,000/day for two days. (The services leading to that cost are on the left: a couple of $2,500 CAT scans, a $4,400 ER charge, etc.)

On the next line is the amount the insurance company paid: $2,052.95—just less than 10% of the total due! Ouch! Doesn’t that leave the patient on the hook for the remaining $19,172.54 (still about $10,000/day, which would be a little hard on most of us)? No, because the next line is the insurance Adjustment, which is the amount that the insurance company miraculously convinces the hospital to forgive. In the end, the hospital charges twenty-one thousand dollars, the insurance company pays two thousand dollars, the patient pays fifty dollars (that’s right, just $50) and the rest just goes away.

http://truecostofhealthcare.org/hospitalization/
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Newbie

Every Plan F must offer exactly the same benefits. So, the ONLY difference is the premium.

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Honored Social Butterfly

What I want to find out is where  can I see the questioner that you have to answer when you apply for a Medicare Supplemental plan. To  be able to see illegibility to a Supplemental program? any ideas? have bee looking in the Internet and cannot find anything that I can see on this issue.

no name
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