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United Healthcare and Senior Care Coverage

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UnitedHealthcare is one of many providers that offer insurance plans to help offset the out-of-pocket costs of senior care. It also happens to be the largest single provider of Medicare Advantage plans in the United States.1 There’s a reason so many older adults choose UnitedHealthcare. This company’s insurance plans for seniors include many perks that you don’t get with Original Medicare. These may include hearing and eye care benefits, a fitness program, $0 copay acupuncture and chiropractic care, a 24-hour nursing hotline, a personal emergency response system, and $0 copay virtual medical and mental health visits — just to name a few!

Below, we’ll take a look at how UnitedHealthcare covers senior care costs, including hospice care and skilled nursing care.

Overview of UnitedHealthcare Insurance Plans for Seniors

UnitedHealthcare offers several different types of healthcare plans designed to meet the health and wellness needs of older adults, including:2

  • Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans
  • Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plans: A, B, C, F, G, K, L, N
  • Prescription drug (Part D) plans
  • Dual-special needs plans (D-SNPs)

Many of UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare plans for seniors feature low and $0 premiums, $0 copays, and benefits that extend beyond Original Medicare. Many of the Medicare Advantage plans also include a comprehensive dental benefit, a vision and hearing benefit, a fitness program, and a monthly credit for over-the-counter items and healthy foods.

Did You Know? UnitedHealthcare is the only insurance company to offer Medicare plans with the AARP name.3 It’s also the largest Medicare Supplement provider in the nation.

Does UnitedHealthcare Cover Nursing Homes and Skilled Nursing Care?

Original Medicare covers only short-term stays in a skilled nursing facility. You’re fully covered if you’re in a nursing home for a qualified reason for up to 20 days. After that, you’ll need to make a coinsurance payment. UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage plans, which include Medicare Part A and Part B benefits, offer the same coverage.

For help with longer nursing home stays, UnitedHealthcare offers Medigap plans. Medigap Plans fill in the gaps of Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans. Medigap plans from UnitedHealthcare fully cover up to 100 days of nursing home stays or skilled nursing care. Of course, you still need to account for plan deductibles.

Already in a long-term nursing home? UnitedHealthcare has a specialized Medicare Advantage plan for you. The UnitedHealthcare nursing home plan includes more benefits than Original Medicare, support from a dedicated care team, and Part D prescription drug coverage.

Does UnitedHealthcare Cover Home Care?

Many seniors prefer to age in the comfort of their own home. However, aging in place alone isn’t always possible. There may come a time where you need one-on-one help from a professional caregiver. UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans offer Medicare Part A and B benefits to make that decision easier on your wallet.

To qualify, you must be homebound and under a doctor’s care. The services you receive must be part of your plan of care, and they must include intermittent skilled nursing care or therapy services. Covered home care services for qualifying seniors with a Medicare Advantage plan through UnitedHealthcare include:4

  • Part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care
  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy in your home
  • Medical social services
  • Part-time or intermittent home health aide care (as long as you’re also receiving skilled services at the same time)
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Medical supplies for use at home
  • Injectable osteoporosis drugs for women

UnitedHealthcare HouseCalls

UnitedHealthcare also has its own in-home health and wellness program, HouseCalls. Medicare members can have a preventive care appointment in the comfort of their own home. A licensed physician or nurse practitioner performs a physical exam and health screening. Then, you have the chance to ask questions. You can even have your loved ones or caregivers sit in on the appointment to get their questions answered too.

Compare: In 2022, UnitedHealthcare and Humana accounted for 46 percent of Medicare Advantage [citation id="6"]enrollment.5[/citation] Read about Humana’s senior care coverage to see how this provider stacks up against UnitedHealthcare.

Does UnitedHealthcare Cover Hospice Care?

Medicare Advantage plans, including those from UnitedHealthcare, cover everything that Original Medicare covers. However, hospice care coverage works a little differently. Hospice care, also called end-of-life care, supports a patient’s medical, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs.

When someone elects hospice care, the costs of hospice are fully covered by Original Medicare — not by your Medicare Advantage plan. So, if you enroll in a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plan, Original Medicare will foot the bill instead of your UnitedHealthcare plan.

FYI: UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans are available in 74 percent of counties in 2022. Read our review of UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage plans to learn more.

For that reason, individuals who elect hospice care will need only Original Medicare to receive coverage. However, UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage plans come with plenty of other perks you may want.

Does UnitedHealthcare Cover Assisted Living?

Assisted living is a long-term care solution for older adults where you can maintain as much independence as possible while receiving basic help with activities of daily living (ADLs). Since ADL care is non-medical, Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of assisted living. Similarly, none of UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage plans or Medigap plans cover assisted living.

FYI: Seven out of 10 people will require long-term care in their lifetime.7 A long-term care insurance policy can go a long way to help make that care affordable.

Considering assisted living facilities cost an average of $4,500 in 2021, not having Medicare to help with costs may be burdensome.8 The only type of insurance that helps cover the cost is long-term care insurance. UnitedHealthcare doesn’t offer long-term care insurance, but many other reputable companies do. If you already have long-term care insurance, check with your policy to see what benefits you have for assisted living.

How Do I Enroll in a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Plan for Senior Care?

UnitedHealthcare makes signing up for a Medicare plan simple for seniors. To get started, visit the provider’s website. By inputting your ZIP code, you can view all of the Medicare Advantage, Part D, and Medigap plans available in your area. Then, you can view details, compare plans, and enroll in the plan you like. The website is very user-friendly, and it’s easy to spot key details like deductible costs and copays. Plus, you can check to see if your current doctors participate in the plans you’re interested in.

Pro Tip: Visit our guides to the best Medigap plans, best Medicare Advantage plans, and best Part D plans to compare the top insurance options for seniors.

You can enroll right on the website or call UnitedHealthcare to have a representative walk you through the enrollment process. If you’d rather enroll by hand, that’s possible too. You can download and print out a paper enrollment form, fill it out, and then mail it to UnitedHealthcare.

Have questions while browsing the website? Take advantage of UnitedHealthcare’s live chat feature!

What Other Options Exist to Pay for Senior Care?

Medicare covers a lot of your senior care needs, but not everything. For example, if your only needs are assistance with ADLs, Medicare won’t cover that. That means if you need help with bathing, dressing, preparing meals, or transportation, you’ll need to use other methods of payment to cover the services.

Seniors and their families can pay for these costs with:

Written By

Jeff Hoyt

Editor in Chief

Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt

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Citations
  1. Kaiser Family Foundation. (2022). Medicare Advantage in 2022: Enrollment Update and Key Trends.

  2. United Healthcare. (2022). Medicare Coverage Options.

  3. UnitedHealth Group. (2021). UnitedHealthcare’s 2022 Medicare Plans Shaped by Consumer Expectations for Value, Choice and Experience.

  4. Medicare.gov. (2022). Home health services.

  5. Kaiser Family Foundation. (2021). Medicare Advantage 2022 Spotlight: First Look.

  6. Kaiser Family Foundation. (2022). Medicare Advantage in 2022: Enrollment Update and Key Trends.

  7. Administration for Community Living. (2020). How Much Care Will You Need?.

  8. Genworth. (2022). Cost of Care Survey.