When comparing Medicare Advantage plans, you have a lot of options. Some plans will be instantly recognizable and others may be completely unfamiliar to you. Secure Horizons Medicare Advantage plans are familiar to most people.
This may be due to AARP MedicareComplete, because as a Secure Horizons plan, it was one of the most popular nationally.
Although MedicareComplete is still one of the most recognizable Medicare brands, it no longer branded as a Secure Horizons plan.
Secure Horizons was a division of United Healthcare that offers Advantage plans, Medigap policies and Part D Drug plans in the Medicare market. Secure Horizons Medicare Advantage plans were popular because of the variety of plans offered and having plans that are affordable and benefit rich.
Although plans are still popular, the Secure Horizons brand has been retired. MedicareComplete is now known as AARP MedicareComplete Insured Through United Healthcare.
Compare all plans offered through United Healthcare by visiting the eHealthInsurance website or call toll free to speak with a licensed agent.
Types of plans
Although plans can change on an annual basis, Medicare Advantage plans insured through United Healthcare have utilized all plan designs. Plans include:
- HMO plans with a medical and Part D drug benefit.
- HMO plans with medical benefits only.
- PPO plans with medical and Part D drug benefit.
- PPO plans with medical benefits only.
- HMO-POS plans with medical and Part D drug benefits.
- HMO-POS plans with medical benefits only.
- PFFS plans with Medical and Part D drug benefits.
- PFFS plans with medical benefits only.
The HMO, PPO and HMO-POS plans are branded as MedicareComplete plans. and the PFFS plans are branded as MedicareDirect plans.
Not all plans are available in all service areas and some plans may not be renewed for the coming year. Advantage plans are available as annual plans and insurance carries that offer plans, contract with CMS to offer a particular plan for the calendar year.
United Healthcare Medicare Advantage plan differences
HMO, PPO and HMO-POS plans are all network based plans. The PPO plans will generally afford the member more freedom of choice. As a PPO member, you can choose to receive your services from either a network provider or go out-of-network to receive services. If you use a network provider you will generally have lower cost sharing co-pays and co-insurance if required.
The benefit of the HMO is the lower cost sharing by using network providers. HMO plans often have additional benefits that may not be found in other types of plans. HMO plans are often available in metropolitan areas with a greater population and strong provider network.
PFFS plans are not network based plans. These plans allow you to choose any provider that accepts Medicare assignment, and as long as the provider accepts the plans payment terms and conditions.
The provider is able to accept the plan on a visit-by-visit basis. This has caused some grief for plan members and for insurance companies that are trying to be compliant with strict marketing guidelines implemented by CMS.
Companies marketing PFFS plans are required to give those plan members access to a provider network. This has had many companies either
leave the PFFS market or announce that they will non-renew plans for the following year.
If you have a PFFS plan from United Healthcare or any other carrier, be sure to watch your mail to see if your plan is one that will not be available the following year.
No matter what type of Advantage plan you have, when it comes time to renew, taking a look at what were once plans branded as Secure Horizons Medicare Advantage may be worth your time.