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UnitedHealthcare® today introduced its 2023 Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans, offering expanded access to consumer-focused plans that deliver a differentiated member experience underscored by better-than-ever ancillary benefits, lower prescription drug costs, and further improvements to core benefits.
“With financial pressures especially impacting older adults living on fixed incomes, we are committed to improving the benefits we offer and driving industry-leading innovations that make them easier to use for the people we serve,” said Tim Noel, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. “These investments and innovations will make a meaningful impact on the experience and value we provide to our members – in ways only UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage can.”
More than 8.2 million people are currently enrolled in UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans, and more than a third of all Medicare Advantage enrollment growth over the past five years, including 2022, has been through UnitedHealthcare.
In 2023, the company will expand its service area to reach 95% of Medicare consumers nationwide and maintain the industry’s largest Medicare Advantage footprint – including nearly 2.3 million more people in 314 additional counties with access to a standard Medicare Advantage plan and 145,000 more people eligible for a Dual Special Needs Plan (D-SNP).
Highlights of UnitedHealthcare’s 2023 individual Medicare Advantage plans include:
New Plan Features Bring Cost Savings, Support Whole-Person Health
- D-SNP Utilities Credit: The combined over-the-counter (OTC) and healthy food benefit offered in 2022 on nearly all D-SNPs gave members three times more credit than the 2021 healthy food credit. In 2023, with food and utility prices rising higher than the average inflation rate, home utilities will be added to the benefit with an average annual credit of more than $2,200. This means Dual members can also choose to spend their monthly credit on expenses like home heat, electricity, water, sewer and home internet.
- D-SNP Home Support: With consumer research identifying home care services as a top desired benefit by Dual eligibles, UnitedHealthcare will offer a new home support services benefit on select D-SNPs. Members can use a $150-$225 quarterly credit toward support services including pest control, companion care, light cleaning, home modifications, yard maintenance and more.
- Flex Benefit: A new flex benefit on select plans can be used to extend existing dental, vision and hearing benefits after using these benefits. This annual benefit ranging from $150-$750 can be used to pay for Medicare-approved items and services like hearing aid copays, prescription sunglasses, out-of-network dental charges and more.
Value-Added Investments Across Core and Ancillary Benefits, Popular Plan Features
- Benefit Stability: 99% of members in standard and Chronic Special Needs Plans (C-SNPs) will have stable or reduced premiums – including nearly 3.3 million members with a $0 premium – and all will have stable or improved core and prescription drug benefits. Additionally, all Medicare Advantage members will see stable ancillary benefits, with 91% receiving better-than-ever ancillary benefits like dental, hearing, OTC and prescription drug coverage.
- $0 Copays: 97% of members are enrolled in a standard plan or C-SNP with a $0 PCP copay, up from 83% in 2022 and higher than the rest of the industry, and nearly all eligible people will have access to a plan with a $0 PCP copay. Many members will also see decreased copays on specialist visits and physical, occupational and speech therapies – and $0 copays when the visit is virtual.
- Dental: The company will offer its richest enhanced comprehensive dental benefit ever, with one simplified coverage level available to 96% of people in standard plans, covering all non-cosmetic dental care including dentures and implants, and no out-of-pocket costs up to the annual coverage limit on most plans. Members will have access to the largest national Medicare Advantage dental network, and all plans with the enhanced comprehensive dental benefit will allow members to see out-of-network dentists to receive the coverage they need.
- OTC, Healthy Food and Utilities Credit: D-SNP members with this combined benefit will see an average increase of 42%, amounting to an average allowance of more than $2,200, with some members having up to $3,600 per year to spend across covered OTC products and healthy foods between shopping trips or online delivery orders, plus eligible utilities expenses.
- Vision and Hearing: All plans with vision coverage will maintain a $0 routine annual eye exam, and most will have an eyewear allowance. Standard lenses are covered at no cost and more than 92% of members will have an annual benefit, up from 59% in 2022. Additionally, the majority of plans will offer a $0 hearing exam and all members will have a hearing aid benefit, typically annual, and access to custom-programmed hearing aids through UnitedHealthcare Hearing, including retail and home-delivery options.
Prescription Drug Plan Designs Drive Down Consumer Costs
- $0 Copays and Deductibles: More plans than ever will lower tier 1 retail copays to $0, giving nearly all members in standard plans and C-SNPs free access to the most common adherence medications. And 100% of members will have $0 tier 1 and 2 copays through Optum Home Delivery, up from 93% in 2022. Additionally, 87% of members will have no Rx deductibles, up from 59% in 2022.
- Formulary Investments: The company’s Medicare Advantage formulary will have more drugs in tier 1 than ever before and move even more commonly used drugs to lower tiers, which target conditions such as cardiovascular disease, depression, osteoarthritis, glaucoma, and overactive bladder, among others. Additionally, several drugs used before or after dental procedures have moved to tier 1, helping to eliminate out-of-pocket costs for these drugs on most plans.
- Chronic Condition Support: All members without Extra Help enrolled in C-SNPs will have access to insulin at $25 ($10 less than standard plans) in addition to diabetic supplies on tier 2, giving access to $0 copays for supplies when using home delivery. C-SNP members will also have access to eight medications on a lower drug tier that target cardiovascular disease.
- Part D Coverage Gap: All standard plans will continue to provide tier 1 gap coverage, eliminating increased costs during the coverage gap and helping to ensure cost is not a barrier for members to stay adherent with their medications.
- $0 Drug Copays on Dual Special Needs Plans (D-SNP): UnitedHealthcare will continue to expand access to $0 copays on covered drugs to 96% of our members enrolled in D-SNPs – bringing needed savings to more Dual members than any other carrier.
Distinctive Offerings Support a Superior Member Experience
- UCard: A national rollout to more than 6.4 million individual Medicare Advantage members brings together the member ID with enhanced payment technology to create a single, integrated card that not only provides access to health care, but also allows members to shop with their benefits, spend earned rewards and more. Key features include:
- Members with an OTC, or OTC, healthy food, and utilities combined benefit can spend the credit on their UCard on thousands of covered items at more than 35,000 retail locations nationwide – a first for most members in standard plans and C-SNPs.
- All members with a UCard and Renew Active® fitness benefit can use the UCard to access their free gym membership on their first visit to any of the 22,000+ Renew Active network gyms and fitness locations – the largest national Medicare fitness network.
- Earned rewards are loaded onto a member’s UCard after they complete eligible activities like getting a flu shot or a mammogram, having a UnitedHealthcare HouseCalls visit, or achieving monthly activity goals.
- The UCard Hub on the UnitedHealthcare member website and mobile app will give members real-time access to available balances, a store locator and more, with additional support from customer service as needed.
- Medicare National Network: The largest national Medicare Advantage network will be available across even more plans in 2023, reaching nearly 96% of people in UnitedHealthcare’s coverage area and more than 3.1 million current enrollees. Members pay network costs when they see any of the more than 1 million network care providers, whether in their neighborhood or away from home.
- High-Touch Member Support: Whether in person or on the phone, and from routine to complex needs, UnitedHealthcare offers tailored support to members through programs including:
- HouseCalls: This yearly, in-home health and wellness clinical service is a checkup at no cost. During the visit, a licensed physician or advanced practice clinician will review an individual’s medical history, answer questions, perform a physical exam and offer a health screening. These visits also provide an opportunity to assess the social, emotional and environmental needs of a member that usually cannot be assessed in a clinic setting.
- UnitedHealthcare At Home: Select markets offer this personalized clinical program designed to improve access to care, support member education and coordinate care across providers to ultimately improve health outcomes through touch points including in-home visits and telephonic support.
- Navigate4MeTM: For D-SNP members, our navigators provide one-on-one support for needs ranging from clinical support, social determinants of health, care coordination and more.