UnitedHealthcare Announces 2012 Medicare Plans

October 03, 2011
  • Continued Focus on Affordability, Quality and Stability Delivers Value for Beneficiaries

UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, today announced its 2012 Medicare products. UnitedHealthcare’s comprehensive range of medical and prescription drug plans, many of which carry the AARP brand, has been designed to meet the diverse needs of the 48 million current beneficiaries who will be making important health coverage decisions during the Annual Election Period beginning Oct. 15.

The 2012 Medicare products offer the stability and peace of mind millions of consumers have come to expect from UnitedHealthcare, the national leader in Medicare health and prescription drug plans by enrollment. The company’s 2012 health plans also feature new benefits designed to help individuals save money.

Medicare Advantage Plans Continue to Feature $0 Premiums, Coordinated Care
UnitedHealthcare made affordability a priority for 2012. In areas where the company offers standard Medicare Advantage plans, more than 90 percent of Medicare-eligible individuals will have access to a UnitedHealthcare plan with no monthly premium above the Part B premium payment required by Medicare.1 UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans will continue to provide more benefits and services than are available through Original Medicare.

The company’s Medicare Advantage plans will continue to emphasize care coordination as one of the most effective methods to enhance members’ health and help them save money. Through collaboration with physicians and a suite of clinical and wellness programs, the plans are designed to meet members’ complex health needs and help them manage chronic conditions and acute-care episodes.

“Care coordination is an integral part of our Medicare Advantage plans because we know that our members value health coverage that not only helps them get well when they’re sick but also helps keep them healthy so they can enjoy their life,” said Tom Paul, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. “The end result of helping our members get the right care at the right time is better health outcomes and lower costs, both for our members and the Medicare system.”

In 2012, UnitedHealthcare will offer Medicare Advantage plans for individuals in 47 states and the District of Columbia. UnitedHealthcare is the nation’s largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans, with more than 2.2 million members.

UnitedHealthcare Takes Innovative Approach to Affordable Hearing Devices

In most regions of the country, members enrolled in UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage plans will have access to new high-tech, custom-programmed hearing devices at a sharply lower cost than Americans with hearing loss have come to expect.

An estimated 75 percent of people who can benefit from hearing devices don’t use them, largely due to the high cost.2 If left untreated, hearing loss can contribute to additional health problems such as social isolation, depression and dementia.

UnitedHealthcare, working with hi HealthInnovations, a newly formed UnitedHealth Group business, is introducing a suite of hearing devices that will be part of this new plan feature. In nearly 300 counties in 17 states, the devices will be available direct to UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage members for a low copayment. In some other regions, Medicare Advantage members can access the devices at a discounted price. The devices will also be available at a significantly discounted price to members enrolled in the company’s Part D prescription drug plans and some of its Medicare supplement plans.

Because Original Medicare does not cover the substantial cost of hearing devices, this new feature will deliver additional value to UnitedHealthcare members, potentially saving them thousands of dollars.

“We design our plans with the goal of helping our members live healthier, more secure lives, which is why we feel it’s important to make a critically needed but underutilized product like hearing devices more readily available,” said Paul. “We have significantly lowered the price of the devices without sacrificing quality, offering our members improved hearing, which can help them stay engaged with their families, friends and communities.”

Hearing device benefits vary by plan. As always, beneficiaries should carefully review plan details before making an enrollment decision.

Part D Prescription Drug and Medicare Supplement Plans Provide Savings and Stability

Through a consistent focus on stability and predictability in its plans and by providing consumer-friendly features that help members get the most value for their money, UnitedHealthcare has been the largest provider of Medicare prescription drug benefits on a stand-alone basis since the Part D program was established in 2006. More than 4.8 million members are currently enrolled in the company’s stand-alone prescription drug plans.

UnitedHealthcare’s 2012 Part D plans will deliver cost-savings in a variety of ways, including broad formularies, an extensive network of more than 65,000 pharmacies, and a zero-dollar deductible that allows members to access their prescription drug benefits starting with their first prescriptions of the year. UnitedHealthcare also reduced the co-payment on 16 of the most commonly used generic drugs by its members to $0 for a 90-day supply when purchased through Prescription Solutions® by OptumRxTM, UnitedHealthcare’s preferred mail service pharmacy.3

Members enrolled in UnitedHealthcare’s Part D plans and Medicare Advantage plans that include drug coverage can also enjoy cost-savings and convenience through the Pharmacy Saver program. Introduced in 2010, the program makes hundreds of generic drugs available at a reduced out-of-pocket cost when purchased at any of thousands of participating pharmacies nationwide.

“Since the launch of Pharmacy Saver last fall, our members have saved more than $11 million out of pocket on their prescription drugs. If all of our members had taken advantage of the program, we estimate they would have saved more than $150 million,” said Paul. “This exceptional value we deliver to our members is one of the primary factors that keeps our AARP MedicareRx Preferred (PDP) plan the most popular Part D plan by membership in the country.”1

For beneficiaries seeking ways to supplement and fill in the financial gaps of their Original Medicare coverage, UnitedHealthcare will offer a range of AARP Medicare Supplement plans for 2012. The plans will remain competitively priced nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is the nation’s largest provider of Medicare supplement health insurance for people age 50 and over and recently enrolled its 3 millionth Medicare supplement member.

New Medicare Enrollment Dates
Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare plans during the Annual Election Period (AEP), which is beginning and ending earlier than usual this year. The AEP will begin on Oct. 15, one month earlier than in previous years, and end on Dec. 7 instead of Dec. 31.

“For the more than 3 million baby boomers who turned 65 and reached Medicare-eligibility age in 2011, this first Annual Election Period is an opportunity to take stock of their initial experience with Medicare and make changes to their coverage if they choose,” said Paul. “We’ve designed our plan materials and websites as well as our Medicare Made Clear materials to make the process of enrolling in or changing Medicare coverage as simple and easy to understand as possible.”

Beneficiaries can learn more about UnitedHealthcare’s 2012 Medicare offerings at www.UHCMedicareSolutions.com.

About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

The benefit information provided herein is a brief summary, not a comprehensive description of benefits. For more information contact the plan.

The family of UnitedHealthcare® Medicare Solutions plans includes Part D Prescription Drug Plans, Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans and Medicare Advantage Plans featuring the UnitedHealthcare®, or AARP® brand names. Plans are insured or covered by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or one of its affiliates, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract and a Medicare-approved Part D sponsor.

AARP encourages you to consider your needs when selecting products and does not make specific product recommendations for individuals.

The AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, AARP MedicareComplete and AARP MedicareRx plans carry the AARP name, and UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company pays royalty fees to AARP for the use of its intellectual property. These fees are used for the general purposes of AARP. AARP and its affiliates are not insurers.

You are not required to use the plan’s Preferred Mail Service Pharmacy to obtain a 90-day supply of your maintenance medications, but you may pay more out-of-pocket compared to using the Preferred Mail Service Pharmacy. Your prescriptions should arrive in about seven days from the date the completed order is received by the Mail Service Pharmacy. You will be contacted by the Preferred Mail Service Pharmacy if there will be an extended delay in the delivery of your medications.

Prescription Solutions® by OptumRxTM is an affiliate of UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company.

1UnitedHealthcare internal data, calculated September 2011
3Savings apply during the initial coverage period, which begins after the payment of your required deductible (if any) and ends when the total cost of your drugs (paid by UnitedHealthcare, you and others) reaches <$2,930>.  

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