Among companies that offer Medicare Supplements, some are commonly known such as Cigna, UnitedHealthcare and BlueCross BlueShield. They have well-known brands due to years of advertising and wide distribution.
Sometimes there’s a company you’ve never heard of before. You are immediately skeptical and worried. Even though rates and coverages are good, you are a little scared to commit because you don’t know the company.
United American might be one of those companies. Even though it has been around for a long time, United American’s brand is not as well-known. But the company consistently earns high rankings from financial ratings organizations.
In this article, we will give you a history and background of United American. Then we will detail its financial strength and products. Because you want to know about Medicare Supplements, we will cover the various plans the company offers along with the features and benefits it offers.
United American Backstory
United was founded in 1947 in Dallas, Texas, by C.L. Dunlap. In 1982, the company was purchased by the Torchmark Corp. Torchmark is more commonly known by its marketing name Globe Life, and officially changed the corporate name in 2019.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Globe Life. In fact, in some states United American products are marketed under that name. Whether you have United American or Globe Life, you are supported by the same company.
By 1996, the company had grown to over 500 employees. It relocated outside of Dallas to McKinney, Texas. Because most of its employees were at the Texas operation, Globe Life eventually moved their corporate headquarters from Birmingham, Alabama, to McKinney.
Medicare was signed into law in 1966. The same year, United American developed its first Medicare Supplement product. It has been creating and distributing Medicare products since the beginning of the program.
Today, United American is one of the largest providers of Medicare supplements, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. As United American has grown, it remains committed to a handful of core principles:
These principles inform everything United American does as it meets the needs of their clients. The company is committed to going the extra mile and providing quality coverage. At the heart of their decision-making is what is best for the customer.
Financial Strength Important
Financial strength is a benchmark people should considered when looking at any company. It indicates stability and the ability for a company to innovate and expand.
If a company can innovate, it creates better customer experiences using technology and resources for customers to use their products. Interaction becomes easier. Claims processing is simpler and more efficient.
There are two other reasons financial strength is important. You don’t need to worry about claims being paid timely. When a company is strapped for capital, they begin cutting staff and internal processes. They need to hold onto their money longer, and everything becomes slower for the customer experience.
The final reason is that rates remain stable over the long term. A company that properly manages finances can create rate structures that remain stable over the long term. With a stable company, rate increases are smaller and occasionally you will even see decreases.
United American earns consistently high rankings from financial ratings organizations.
The two main rating agencies for insurance companies are AM Best and Standard and Poors. Both review multiple factors on a company’s balance sheet.
AM Best rated United American A+, which is a superior rating.
Standard and Poors rated the company AA-, which equates to “very strong.”
United American Medicare Supplemental Plans
United American Medicare Supplement plans are distributed through independent agents and brokers. They are licensed in 49 states and D.C. In the state of New York, United sells policies through First United American Life Insurance Co.
The only Medicare products United American sells are Medicare Supplements.
United American offers Medicare Supplement policies for 11 of the 12 standardized plans: A, B, C, D, F/HDF, G/HDG, K, L, and N. Plan availability may vary by your state of residence.
All Medicare standardized plans include the following basic benefits:
- Hospitalization: Part A coinsurance plus coverage for 365 additional days after Medicare benefits end.
- Medical Expenses: Part B coinsurance (generally 20% of Medicare approved expenses) or copayments for hospital).
- Outpatient services: Plans K, L, and N require insureds to pay a portion of the Part B coinsurance or copayment.
- Blood: First three pints of blood each year.
- Hospice: Part A coinsurance for eligible hospice/respite care expenses.
Only applicants who were first eligible for Medicare Part A before 2020 may purchase Plans C, F, and High Deductible Plan F. If you are new to Medicare, you need to find coverage during the window around your 65th birthday. You won’t need to go through standard underwriting and are guaranteed coverage during this period.
If you purchased prior to 2020, you have more options to choose and can change plans if you are not satisfied with your coverage or rates with your current company.
Medicare Supplement Insurance: Coverage Basics
In other articles, we have detailed the specifics of the various Medicare Supplements, so here we will give a brief overview of the plans available.
All plans are built off of Plan A, which includes the benefits mentioned above. Each successive plan increases and expands coverage from what A gives.
Plan B adds coverage for your Medicare Part A deductible.
Plan C adds co-insurance coverage for a skilled nursing facility along with coverage for the Part B deductible.
Plan D provides the co-insurance coverage for the nursing facility but does not include the Part B Deductible.
Plan F & Plan G are the most popular Medicare Supplements because they offer more comprehensive coverage than any other plan. With these two plans you receive:
- Medicare Part A co-insurance and hospital costs for an extra 365 days.
- Part B co-pays or co-insurance.
- Three pints of blood.
- Part A hospice co-pay or co-insurance.
- Skilled nursing care.
- Part A deductible.
- Part B excess charges.
- 80% of foreign emergency costs.
The only main benefit difference between Plans F and G is that you do not have the Part B deductible in Plan G. We cover the benefits of Plan G in other articles.
For both F and G, high deductible Plans (HDF & HDG) are offered. These can be a great option for keeping premiums lower, especially if you are healthy without consistently large medical expenses.
Features and Benefits of United American Plans
United American has been offering affordable Medicare supplement insurance for years.
Medicare supplement plans are regulated by the federal government. Regardless of the company you choose, coverage is standardized.
Besides company reputation, financials and rate, companies distinguish themselves through customer tools and benefits.
Here are some of the benefits you can find in United American plans:
- 30-day free-look policy: This allows you to cancel for any reason with a full refund.
- Guaranteed renewable plans: If you develop medical conditions while covered by United American, you cannot be cancelled by the company.
- Every plan is portable: United American covers you nationwide. If you move to another state, your policy travels with you.
- You can use any doctor that participates in original Medicare – over 800,000 providers.
United American offers online tools and live customer service help to assist with claims, billing and policy questions. The company recently overhauled its online tools. The timing could not have been better considering the COVID-19 quarantine and restrictions placed on customer travel. These new tools allow customers to quickly access information and simply from the comfort of their home.
United American’s rate changes have been stable for several years. In 2019, the average rate increases were between 0 and 3.2%. This can vary by your state, but these are small changes compared to many other companies.
United American Shows Financial Strength
United American is a financially strong company with a good track record of experience in the Medicare industry. It has worked with Medicare since the beginning.
Like every company Medicare Nationwide represents, United American will be quoted when our representatives review your coverages. If the company’s benefits and rates fit your needs, we can discuss the company as one of your options.
The benefit of using an experienced broker is they will not fit you into a policy that is best for them. A great agency will have multiple options among a wide range of carriers. What you don’t often see is that when we present you with different choices, it means we have spent the time to shop your coverages through our full range of companies. We do the comparisons so you don’t need to spend hours researching and comparing companies, rates and benefits.
Make sure to discuss your current needs and health history. Understanding those elements can help us tailor the right policy for your situation.
Contact the experienced team at Medicare Nationwide today to see how we can help.