United of Omaha Medicare Supplement Review
Is United of Omaha a legitimate company? Believe it or not, we’ve heard this.
Don’t feel bad if you’ve wondered yourself. Within the world of financial products, it is good to be cautious and ask questions. There are so many companies competing among Medicare Supplements. It can be very hard to navigate all the companies and options.
You’ve heard of Mutual of Omaha. They are a recognized brand among Medicare supplement products. They are famous for their sponsorship of Wild Kingdom. But United of Omaha, who are they? You can trust them. United of Omaha is one of many subsidiaries Mutual of Omaha owns. This is common among big insurance companies. They will often create subsidiaries for different regions of the country or to test new products. United of Omaha is a long established Mutual of Omaha company. Let’s go through the history, consumer ratings, and Medicare products.
United of Omaha is a long-standing and well-established subsidiary of Mutual of Omaha, based in Omaha, Nebraska. Mutual of Omaha was founded in 1909 to sell health insurance. The company was founded by a medical student and his wife. They became concerned over health costs for many of the patients they saw. This prompted them to develop health insurance products to help with hospital costs.
Over time the company has expanded into a wide variety of life and health products as well as annuities. When the federal government launched the creation of Medicare in 1965, Mutual of Omaha began selling Medicare supplement products. They were an early leader among Medicare Supplements and have always been at the forefront of innovation.
Mutual of Omaha launched United of Omaha in 1926. Originally the company was designed to specialize and sell life insurance to children. First, it was known by United Benefit Life Insurance Company. The name was eventually changed to United of Omaha in 1981.
United of Omaha has expanded the number of products they sell. Today, United of Omaha is known primarily for its Medicare Supplement insurance plans. They also sell life insurance, fixed self-funded pension plans, and other insurance plans.They are known for competitive premiums, high-quality products, outstanding customer service, strong financial ratings, and fast underwriting. When you apply for Medicare products with United of Omaha, your application is approved in an average of 4 days.
Because United of Omaha is controlled and operated by Mutual of Omaha, their financial strength reflects the parent company. Every financial rating organization gives Mutual of Omaha high marks. Financial strength is an important component in deciding on a Medicare Supplement company. Strong companies pay claims quickly and have the ability to invest in customer support systems.
The top 3 financial rating services, A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, and Moody’s Investors Service rate United of Omaha as follows:
- A.M. Best: Superior (A+)
- Standard & Poor’s: Strong (A+)
- Moody’s: Good (A1)
The NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners) collects information on every operating insurance company in the United States. One excellent indicator of company strength is the Complaint Ratio. The Ratio is based on how many customer complaints are generated per company.
The ratio is built on a scale from 0 to 2. 2 is the worst possible score. A company in this range has more complaints than its competitors. If a company scores a 1, they experience the average number of complaints among their insurance peers. Anything below 1 would be excellent. In 2018, United of Omaha scored an excellent .48. This is the ratio for all their products. Out of all complaints, only 1 complaint was for their Medical Supplement product. This is outstanding and speaks volumes about their customer service.
United of Omaha Medicare Supplement Plans
Medicare Supplement plans are designed to cover medical expenses that traditional Medicare does not cover. Once you enroll in Medicare Part A & B, you can purchase a supplement plan.
When Medicare becomes an option for you, we recommend you begin investigating the supplement market. Each person has a window of time where they can apply for supplement products. During this open enrollment period, you are automatically accepted without a special health underwriting. This window is 3 months prior to your 65th birthday through three months after.
Supplement policies are designed to bridge the gap between Medicare and traditional health insurance. Because of the function of these products, they are often referred to as Medigap policies.
Supplements protect you from unexpected medical costs that Medicare will not cover. For example, Medicare Part A covers up to 60 days of hospitalization. But you have to pay a substantial deductible of $1,484. If you are in the hospital for 150 days, you will run out of coverage completely under traditional Medicare.
Under Part B (doctor visits), you are responsible for a $203 deductible as well. Then Part B will only pay for 80% of approved services. You will have to pay for the 20% remaining costs. Part B includes doctor visits, ER visits, blood tests, x-rays, etc. It can get even worse. There is no cap on the 20% payout like you may have had under traditional health insurance policies.
This is where supplement policies help. They pick up those costs that you would normally incur if you only traditional Medicare.
United of Omaha offers the following Medicare Supplement plans:
- Supplement Plan A
- Supplement Plan B
- Supplement Plan C
- Supplement Plan D
- Supplement Plan F*
- Supplement Plan G
- Supplement Plan M
- Supplement Plan N
The government ruled back in 2015 to stop offering the Plan F by Jan 1, 2020 to those born after Jan 1, 1955. However, if you are currently enrolled in Plan F, you will be grandfathered as long as you keep the plan. You can also still get the plan if you were born prior to Jan 1, 1955.
If you are currently enrolled in a plan, you are able to switch plans or company any time throughout the year.
|Benefits||Plan A||Plan B||Plan C||Plan D||Plan F||Plan G||Plan M||Plan N|
|Basic Benefits – Hospital||x||x||x||x||x||x||x||x|
|Basic Benefits-All other||x||x||x||x||x||x||x||x|
|Medicare Part A Deductible||x||x||x||x||x||50%||x|
|Medicare Part B Deductible||x||x|
|Medicare Part B Excess Charges Benefits||x||100%|
|Foreign Travel Emergency||x||x||x||x||x||x|
The most popular plans are Plan F, G, and N. Plan F is unique because the government has approved a high deductible option. The benefits of a high deductible plan are a significant reduction in the customer’s premium. However, you should weigh the amount of premium saved against the potential deductible. Unless you are saving more or equal to the deductible amount this may not be the best choice for you.
Plan F will be retired for new customers at the end of 2019. Current Plan F participants will be grandfathered and can continue with the plan as outlined above.
Plan G is the most similar to F. The only difference is the Part B deductible amount. Currently, many people will choose G over F because the Part B deductible is small. The premium saved is usually more than the deductible. Also, the high deductible option switched to the High Deductible Plan G in 2020 as well. There are small changes in how the deductible is applied between the plans. You can find the full explanation in our High Deductible Plan G article.
United of Omaha Medicare Supplement Prices
For all Medicare Supplement products, pricing will vary depending on the state where you live and the company you choose.
Here is an example of rates from the state of Virginia, which is a good average pricing example in the United States.
The below rates are from ZIP code 20120 in Centreville, VA for females age 65. Rates vary based on ZIP code, gender, age and, in some areas, health. A 12% household discount applies to Virginia.
- Plan A: $88.93
- Plan F: $120.52
- Plan G: $95.61
- Plan N: $85.80
This is only an illustration and the prices are subject to have changed since the time of issuance.
It is important to keep in mind that all Medicare supplements are federally standardized. This means they must cover the same exact benefits, makes shopping around a critical step in the decision process for Medicare supplements. Because of this, be sure to check out the other important factors that should be driving your Medicare supplement decision.
The government regulates the content and coverage of each plan. Regardless of which company you choose, the coverage will be the same. The company you choose does matter. Premiums will differ per company, so it pays to shop. Also, make sure you choose a financially strong company with the ability to pay claims and provide an excellent customer experience.
United of Omaha Medigap Plan Benefits
- Fast underwriting. Most policies will be approved in 4 days or less.
- Premium Lock-ins. Premiums are locked in for a one year period from the effective date of your coverage.
- Household Discounts. United of Omaha offers a 7 percent discount to couples who purchase a Medicare supplement plan with their company. This a great method to reduce out-of-pocket health expenses.
- Enroll early. The enrollment period begins 3 months before you turn 65 through 3 months after. When you enroll during this early enrollment period, you will be covered immediately. Pre-existing conditions are even covered during this special period.
- Guaranteed renewability. United of Omaha will not cancel your Medigap plan as long as you’re able to pay the monthly premiums.
- Billing Grace periods. You have a 31-day grace period to pay your premium from your renewal date.
- No policy fees. Some supplement plans do require policy fees in addition to normal monthly premiums. This doesn’t include premium taxes which are required in some states.
- Excellent Customer Service. Customer and claims service with United of Omaha are some of the best in the industry. The NAIC complaint ratio is a perfect indicator of their track record.
United of Omaha is an excellent company, and one of the many we represent. If you are new to Medicare, United of Omaha is a great choice. We will help you shop for the best possible product for your insurance dollars. If you currently own a Medicare Supplement, now may be the time to shop your policy. Companies regularly experiment with new pricing structures. If you don’t check your pricing ever couple of years, you might be missing out.
You can even switch between subsidiaries. Let us research the market for you. United of Omaha may be more competitive for your situation. You do not have to wait for a special time period to shop or change your supplement. You can change today and start saving next month.
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