United Health

Any health coverage is better than no health coverage.  And no one is going to suggest that one should not take advantage of an employer or school paying for some or all of the health insurance premiums.  In these cases, people seldom have much if any choice in the matter of choosing which health insurance provider to go with.  However, when one DOES have a choice, there are plenty of things to factor into the final decision.  Mostly, these factors are the various costs, acceptance of insurance, and customer service.  United Health fails on most of these factors.

As far as the cost of the premiums go, United Health is not too bad.  Obviously, things can change dramatically based on coverage options, family or single plans, employer contribution, etc.  But overall, United Health is more or less on par with other major Health Insurance Providers.  Even when going to see a doctor (though there are exceptions) United Health does alright.  They cover what should be covered, and where, though the copay is a little higher than some might be used to.  They can be a little stingy about continuous care, only allowing so many covered visits for injuries and the like, but even that will not be a problem for most.  The problem with United Health Care’s coverage is in prescription coverage.  Pills that only cost 68 cents under other plans cost 10 dollars under United Health’s plan.  Some prescriptions may cost as much as 50 dollars.  This is not something that many can easily afford.  And that might not even be the worst part.  Some drugs require prior authorization.  United Health will insist on trying other drugs that are known to be less effective and/or addictive before paying for the drug that the doctor actually recommends.  It is backward thinking to assume that a Health Insurance Company should be calling the shots over doctors.  But that’s the way this company works.  And just for an extra kick in the pants, United Health will say that another drug must be tried for 2 weeks.  But after the 2 weeks, they still won’t pay, because it’s not time for a “refill.”  (The fact that a different drug is needed is apparently beyond the scope of the company.)

The customer service is terrible as well.  When a human can be reached by phone, they are perfectly nice, though not always understanding or helpful.  It wouldn’t matter, as it will take 20 minutes of navigating a terrible automated and voice activated system before reaching a human being.  Likely United Health is trying to save money by having computers handle the job that humans should be handling, and figure that most will give up trying to reach a real operator, and just hang up, problem unresolved.

So all in all, United Health is a terrible Health Insurance Provider.  If given an option, anyone would be better off going with even small unheard of companies.  Of course, anyone should compare all options first.