Here are some of the most commonly asked questions:

Uh oh... There wasn't anything matching that search. Sorry about that. Maybe try again? Perhaps a call could help? Call UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company 1-844-775-1729 1-844-775-1729 (TTY 711)

Medicare Supplement

What is Medicare supplement insurance?

Medicare supplement insurance plans, offered by private insurance companies, help pay some of the out-of-pocket costs that Medicare Parts A and B don’t pay. The plans, categorized by letters such as F and N, are standardized, which means the basic benefits are the same from company to company, but some insurers may provide additional benefits. Plan availability may vary by state and insurer.

How do I request additional information on AARP® Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, insured by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company (UnitedHealthcare)?

Click here to request your free Decision Guide for AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans.

Where can I find AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan rates and details?

To view rate information and compare plan costs, simply enter your zip code then click the button below.

When you click View Plan Costs you will be taken to
AARPMedicarePlans.com to provide you with plan information
from UnitedHealthcare.

When can I apply for Medicare supplement insurance?

Once you are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, you can apply for a Medicare supplement insurance plan at any time.*

Your acceptance into a Medicare supplement insurance plan is guaranteed if you apply within the 6 month period beginning on the first day of the month in which you’re both at least age 65 or older AND enrolled in Medicare Part B. In some states, your acceptance is guaranteed even if you apply outside of this time period.**

*If you choose to apply outside of your Medicare supplement Open Enrollment period or a Guaranteed Issue period, you may be underwritten and not accepted into the plan. (This does not apply to residents of Connecticut and New York where guaranteed issue is ongoing and Medicare supplement plans are guaranteed available.)

**New York and Connecticut have ongoing guaranteed issue and Medicare supplement plans are guaranteed available.

When is the best time to enroll in a standardized Medicare supplement insurance plan?

It is most beneficial to enroll in a Medicare supplement insurance plan during your open enrollment period, which lasts for 6 months and begins on the first day of the month in which you’re both at least age 65 or older AND enrolled in Medicare Part B, because your acceptance is guaranteed despite any pre-existing health conditions.* You may also select any plan that is available in your state. Some states have ongoing guaranteed acceptance, while other states offer additional open enrollment periods.**

*A pre-existing condition is a health problem you have before the date a new insurance policy starts. Medicare supplement insurance companies may refuse to cover your out-of-pocket costs for pre-existing health problems for up to 6 months.

**New York and Connecticut have ongoing guaranteed issue and Medicare supplement plans are guaranteed available.

How do I apply for a Medicare supplement insurance plan?

Once you’ve done your research and decided on the Medicare supplement plan that’s best for you, contact the insurance company to begin your application.

Depending on the insurance company you choose, there may be several ways to apply, which may include meeting with a licensed insurance agent or producer; using the company’s website; calling the company; or sending in an application you’ve received in the mail.

How can I request an appointment with an agent/producer?

To speak with a licensed agent/producer contracted with UnitedHealthcare and authorized to offer AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, insured by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company, simply click here and provide your information. An agent/producer will reach out to you within the next few business days.

What if I miss my six-month Medicare supplement insurance open enrollment period?

Even if you miss your six-month enrollment period, you may still apply for Medicare supplement insurance coverage at any time, but you may be denied or charged a higher premium if your health history suggests that you may be at higher risk. (This does not apply to residents of Connecticut and New York where guaranteed acceptance is ongoing and Medicare supplement plans are guaranteed available.)

Does the annual Open Enrollment Period (OEP) apply to Medicare supplement insurance plans?

As long as you are covered by Medicare Parts A and B and do not already have a Medicare supplement insurance plan, you can apply at any time.* If you are, however, enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, OEP may be a good time to review Medicare supplement insurance plans and apply if you find your health care needs have changed.

*If you choose to apply outside of your Medicare supplement Open Enrollment period or a Guaranteed Issue period, you may be underwritten and not accepted into the plan. (This does not apply to residents of Connecticut and New York where guaranteed issue is ongoing and Medicare supplement plans are guaranteed available.)

How much does Medicare supplement insurance cost?

The monthly premium for your plan will vary and may be based on how much coverage you want and which insurance company you choose.

When you’re looking at Medicare supplement plans, consider how much you’ll pay for services, like hospital stays or doctors’ visits, and how much you’re willing to spend on your monthly plan premium and out-of-pocket costs. Benefits and costs vary depending on the plan chosen.

Understanding your health care needs and how you will use a Medicare supplement insurance plan will help you choose a plan with the right cost and benefit structure for you.

How much Medicare supplement insurance coverage do I need?

Within the types of Medicare supplement plans offered, you have choices between higher benefit-level plans, which typically have a higher cost and low monthly premium plans, with fewer benefits.

Higher-benefit plans offer the most supplemental coverage, paying your out-of-pocket costs for many Medicare-approved services.

With lower-benefit plans, you pay a lower premium each month and will pay more out of pocket costs for Medicare-approved covered services. Benefits and costs vary depending on the plan chosen.

What is the difference in Medicare supplement plans offered by different insurance companies?

In terms of basic benefits provided under each plan, Medicare supplement insurance plans are the same from insurer to insurer. For example, one company’s Plan F is the same as another company’s Plan F. However, differences may include any added benefits that an insurance company may provide and the level of customer service you’ll receive.

Do I have to use certain doctors with a Medicare supplement plan?

No. With a Medicare supplement plan, you have the flexibility to choose any doctor, specialist, or hospital that accepts Medicare patients.

Can my Medicare supplement plan be cancelled based on new health conditions?

Medicare supplement insurance plans are guaranteed for life, regardless of age or health, as long as your premium payments are up-to-date and you have made no material misrepresentation on your application.

Are Medicare supplement and Medicare Advantage plans the same thing?

No. Medicare supplement and Medicare Advantage* plans are different from one another. A Medicare supplement plan may be purchased in addition to Medicare Parts A and B coverage, while a Medicare Advantage plan (sometimes called Medicare Part C) provides Medicare-approved standalone coverage that combines Part A and Part B benefits, and sometimes prescription drug benefits, into one plan.

You cannot have a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medicare supplement plan at the same time. However, both types of coverage are offered through private insurance companies.

*Medicare Advantage is not available in all states/territories (including AK, GU, MP and VI).

Does a Medicare supplement insurance plan replace Medicare Parts A and B?

No. Instead, a Medicare supplement insurance plan works with Medicare Parts A and B to help cover some of the out-of-pocket health care costs. For instance, Medicare Part B generally covers about 80% of Part B expenses. The rest is up to you. Purchasing a Medicare supplement plan to go with your Medicare Parts A and B coverage may help with medical costs not paid by Medicare alone.

General/Original Medicare

When am I eligible for Medicare?

You are eligible for Medicare once you turn 65 as long as you or your spouse has worked in Medicare covered employment for at least 10 years and you are a U.S. citizen or have been a permanent resident for at least five consecutive years.

When do I need to enroll in Medicare?

If you are turning 65 and are receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, in most cases, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. If you do not meet these qualifications, you will need to sign up for coverage, which begins three months before the month you turn 65, the month of your birthday, and three months after your birth month. This is your Initial Enrollment Period.

How do I enroll in Medicare?

If you are not automatically enrolled based on the requirements noted above, you may sign up by logging on to SocialSecurity.gov, or you may call or visit your local Social Security office. If you are eligible for Medicare due to disability or End-Stage Renal Disease, check Medicare.gov for details on how to enroll.

How can I get help choosing a plan that fits my needs?

While conducting online research is a good start and may provide the information you need, making a decision about Medicare and Medicare-related coverage can be complex. Contacting an insurer’s customer service, reaching out to a local licensed insurance agent/producer, or talking with a trusted and knowledgeable friend can make all the difference. Ultimately, the decision is up to you. Think about how much health care insurance coverage you need and how much you would like to pay each month. From there, it may be easier to narrow down which plan is best for you.

I’m not 65 yet. Could I still qualify for Medicare?

There are several factors to determine Medicare eligibility under age 65. These include if you have been entitled to Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months; if you receive a disability pension from the Railroad Retirement Board; if you have Lou Gehrig’s disease; or if you have End-Stage Renal Disease.

What if I delay retirement past age 65?

If you continue working beyond age 65, you may qualify to enroll during a Special Enrollment Period, which may help you avoid penalties.

If I delay retirement and work past the age of 65, do I need to take action with Medicare?

In general, you can delay Medicare enrollment without penalty for as long as you are employed AND covered under an employer’s or union’s group health plan.

There are a couple of exceptions:

  • If your employer has less than 20 employees, you may be required to enroll in Medicare. In this case, your work health plan would generally be secondary to Medicare. Reach out to your employer’s plan administrator to learn how your plan would work with Medicare.
  • Retiree benefits and COBRA are not considered employer coverage. If you are covered by either of these, you will need to sign up for Medicare at age 65 or older.
  • If you retire during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), you will not be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) until your IEP ends. If you don’t sign up during your IEP, you risk premium penalties and delays in coverage.

How will I know if my plan will be changing next year?

There are a couple ways to determine if your plan features are changing. Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plan enrollees will receive an annual Notice of Change, which will detail any changes to plan coverage and costs for the next year.

You may also review the most current Medicare & You booklet available through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Why might I consider making changes to my plan?

It’s a good idea to review your Medicare plan benefits on an annual basis and determine if your existing coverage is still right for you.

In some instances, plan benefits or rates may change, or prescription drugs may be added or removed from your plan’s formulary (the list of prescriptions that are covered by your plan). In addition, your health care needs may change – you may be diagnosed with a new medical condition or you may have new prescription drug needs.

If I enroll in a new plan or make changes to my existing coverage, when will my new coverage begin?

Any changes made to your Medicare plan (including Part C and Part D), whether you are adding, dropping, or changing coverage, will be effective January 1 of the following year.

Can I have employer insurance and Medicare at the same time?

You can, however, if your employer has 20 or more employees, your employer’s group health plan will generally be considered your primary plan. If your employer plan pays 100% of most medical expenses, you may pay the Medicare Part B premium and receive little value. It’s best to contact your employer’s plan administrator to learn how your plan would work with Medicare.

Can I use my employer plan’s Health Savings Account (HSA) for Medicare-related out-of-pocket costs?

After you retire and are enrolled in Medicare, you may use the balance of funds in your Health Savings Account (HSA). However, according to IRS regulation, you may not continue to contribute to your HSA account.

What is the Medicare Initial Enrollment Period?

This is the seven-month period that begins three months before the month of your 65 birthday and ends three months after your birth month.

For example, if you will turn 65 in June, your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period spans from March 1 to September 30.

What happens if I don’t enroll in Medicare during my Initial Enrollment Period when I turn 65?

You still have the opportunity to enroll during the Medicare General Enrollment Period, which runs every year from January 1 through March 31. When you enroll in coverage during this time, it takes effect on July 1 of that year. During this period, you may enroll in Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, or both, if you didn’t sign up initially. In some situations, you may have to pay a penalty for late enrollment.

Are there penalties for not enrolling in Medicare during the Initial Enrollment Period?

There may be premium penalties for Medicare Parts A and B if you miss your initial enrollment dates, so it’s important to apply when you’re first eligible.

The penalty for waiting to enroll in Medicare Part A is 10% of the Part A premium. You will have to pay the premium penalty for twice the number of years you delay enrollment. The 10% premium penalty applies no matter how long you delay Medicare Part A enrollment. For example, if you were eligible for Medicare Part A for one year, but didn’t sign up, you will be charged a higher premium for two years.

If you don’t enroll in Medicare Part B when you are first eligible, then you may have to pay a penalty to get it later. The penalty is an additional 10% of the Part B premium for every 12-month period that you delay enrollment and you will have to pay the penalty every month for as long as you have Medicare Part B.

For example, if your Initial Enrollment Period ended November 30, 2012, and you wait to sign up for Medicare Part B until February 2015 during the General Enrollment Period, then your Part B premium penalty will be 20%. Despite waiting a total of 26 months to enroll, the penalty only includes the two full 12-month periods. However, you will pay this penalty for as long as you have Part B.

You may delay enrollment in both Medicare Parts A and B without penalty if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

What is a Special Enrollment Period?

A Special Enrollment Period allows you to enroll in Medicare for the first time, or to change your coverage outside of the Initial Enrollment Period, without late premium penalties.

If you didn’t enroll in Medicare Parts A and B during your Initial Enrollment Period because you were covered under a group health plan based on current employment (your own, a spouse’s, or a family member’s if you’re disabled), you can sign up for Medicare Parts A and B while you’re still covered by the group health insurance plan or during the eight-month period that begins the month after the employment or the coverage ends, whichever happens first.

Other ways you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period are if you move out of your plan’s service area; you have Medicaid; you have a limited income and qualify for extra help through Medicare; or you live in an institution, such as a nursing home.

How do I enroll in Medicare during a Special Enrollment Period?

To start the enrollment process, go to SocialSecurity.gov, or you may call or visit your local Social Security office.

Are there premiums for Medicare Parts A and B?

Medicare Part A is premium-free if you or your spouse worked and paid taxes for at least 10 years. If you do have to pay a premium, it’s important to apply for Medicare Part A when you’re first eligible. Otherwise, you may be charged a premium penalty if you enroll at a later date. There is a monthly premium for Medicare Part B. The amount you pay is based on your modified adjusted gross income.

Medicare Part D/Prescription Drug Coverage

Am I eligible for Medicare Part D?

Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) is available for anyone who qualifies for Medicare Parts A and B. And like Parts A and B of Medicare, you cannot be denied enrollment in a Part D plan if you enroll when you first become eligible for Medicare.

Where can I learn more about Medicare Part D Plans?

You may visit Medicare.gov, which is the official U.S. Government website for Medicare.

How do I find a Medicare Part D Plan?

You may visit Medicare.gov to review the plans available in your area, or you may contact a private insurance company that offers Part D prescription drug plans. If you want Part D prescription drug coverage, you must choose either a stand-alone Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan that includes Part D.

Are there out-of-pocket costs associated with Part D plans?

If you purchase a stand-alone Part D plan through a private insurance company, you will pay a monthly premium. Some plans require you to pay an annual deductible and co-insurance or co-payment amounts.

Are prescription drugs covered under Medicare supplement plans?

No. Medicare supplement insurance plans don’t cover prescription drugs. Prescription drug coverage, also known as Medicare Part D, is available separately through private insurance companies approved by Medicare. There is a choice of plans available, and plans vary from insurer to insurer.

Call UnitedHealthcare Ins. Co. 1-844-775-1729 (TTY 711)