UnitedHealthcare promises lower premiums, more freebies in 2019 Medicare plans


Tired of your Medicare costs constantly rising? One health insurer says they’re doing something about it.

RELATED: 8 things to know about your new Medicare ID card

One million UnitedHealthcare customers will see a premium price drop

We’re just days away from the October 15 start of the Medicare Annual Enrollment period when people can make changes to their coverage through the federal health insurance program.

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) is seizing the moment by announcing its 2019 Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans. The company promises its new plans will save you money on premiums while offering more choice.

UHC says in a press release that more than 90% of members on standard Medicare Advantage plans will see stable premiums in 2019, while noting more than 1 million people should actually see their premiums go down.

As part of the anticipated cost savings, most of the plans UHC is offering will include drug coverage with $0 co-pays for Tier 1 and Tier 2 medications ordered through the mail.

(Editor’s note: For an explanation of how tiered pricing works, see our article on when paying cash for medication beats insurance.)

In addition, UHC says “nearly all plans” will pay for routine vision and hearing, while “most” will offer preventative dental.

Furthermore, the company says hearing aids will also be made available to 2 million members. We’ve got info for you on Clark.com about how to find retailers that offer the best deals on quality hearing aids.

Other miscellaneous benefits attached to most 2019 plans include:

  • Members of select plans in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina and Utah will have free access to a variety of commercial gyms and YMCAs.
  • 2+ million people will get select over-the-counter health items at no extra cost through mail order or online.
  • Members can elect to receive an annual clinical wellness visit in their own home.
  • Transportation to doctor’s appointments will be provided by UHC for some 1.8 million members.

As a reminder, you can make changes to your Medicare coverage during Medicare Annual Enrollment, which runs from October 15 through December 7.

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