Pros & Cons of United Healthcare: Pricing, Service & Complaints

**Updated 5/8/19 – changed ownership today.  One of my first orders of business is to review this article, which was formerly titled “United Healthcare Sucks” and make changes as needed.  I don’t like derogatory articles like this, so I will be reviewing and updating this article, and removing all the “sucks” comments, and changing this to a more appropriately named “pros and cons of United Healthcare” shortly.  Stay tuned.

United Healthcare is the largest health insurance carrier in the United States. In 2012 United Healthcare generated a revenue of $103 billion and earnings of $7.8 billions. So the question is  With an earning of just under $8 billions the top executives of the company must be very well fed. So the question is why is United Healthcare So Bad?

6 Reasons Why United Healthcare Sucks

Hired Managing Partner & CFO of a Disgraced Accounting Firm as its CEO

The company’s President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen J. Hemsley is amongst world’s highest paid executives. By the way, before joining United Healthcare he was with Arthur Andersen, the disgraced accounting firm. Mr. Hemsley was the Managing Partner and CFO at Arthur Andersen. Now we can perfectly understand that Mr Hemsley know nothing of the biggest American fraud his company was brewing. After all he was just the CFO and not the CEO.

Mr Hemsley was the COO at United Healthcare when the company was caught with its pants down in the share backdating scandal. A lawsuit in which CalPers is the lead plaintiff asserted that he had direct involvement in backdating of shares.

For his blood and sweat Stephen J Hemsley earned $1.3 million in salary $3.4 million in bonuses and $0.58 in other compensation – a hard cash of $5.8 millions. His stock appreciated by $43.55 millions. Source

Stephen J Hemsley is the reason #1 United Healthcare sucks.

Large Number of

No Respect for Customer

No respect for customer is reason #2 why United Healthcare sucks. Actually this could be reason no 1. Let me give you one reason why I believe UHC has no respect for customer. Assume I manufacture widgets. I am the biggest manufacturer of widgets in the country. Due to changes in the law I decide to stop selling widgets in some states January 1, 2014 onwards. If you live in one of these states and come to you for buying widgets what should I do?

At the very least I should have the courtesy to tell you that I am discontinuing that product line in your state.

United Healthcare does not think so. The company decided (on July 2) to discontinue individual health insurance in California. But there is no mention of this development on company’s website. Screenshot of press release page.

United Healthcare Sucks No Mention of Leaving California

United Healthcare Sucks No Mention of Leaving California

The news that United Healthcare is exiting individual health market in California is not newsworthy enough for the company’s news page.

Multiple Names

As a consumer you may not even know that you are with United Health Group. UHG is the big daddy of UHC. It also owns companies like Oxford, PacifiCare, IBA, AmeriChoice, Evercare, Ovations, MAMSI etc.

Complaints All Over

85 percent reviews on Consumer Affairs are 1 Star (lowest satisfaction rating) and 14 percent are 2 stars. Out of 109 ratings only one rating is a five star rating. Obviously United Healthcare sucks on The story is similar on Yelp. There are four yelp reviews and all are one star rating.

Consumers are also posting their complaints against the company on

Even Physicians Think United Healthcare Sucks

So you want to dismiss the earlier points as rants. But wait! Even the physicians think that United Healthcare Sucks. United Healthcare has been rated the lowest for four years in a row by physicians. As per MGMA survey in which 800 medical professionals participated the company has been rated the lowest for the following questions.

  • What is your overall current satisfaction with the payer? Lowest Score of 2.77/5.
  • How has the payer’s overall performance changed during the past six months? Lowest score of 2.73
  • How satisfied are you with the amount of time it takes the payer to respond toyour questions? Lowest score of 2.60/5.
  • How satisfied are you with the accuracy and consistency of the payer’s responses toyour questions? Lowest score of 2.69/5.
  • How satisfied are you that the payer conducts 2-way, good-faith negotiations during thecontracting process? Lowest score of 2.38/5.
  • How satisfied are you that the payer fully discloses its payment policies? Lowest score of 2.76/5.
  • How satisfied are you with the claims appeals process? Lowest score of 2.48/5.

United Healthcare managed lowest rating in seven out of thirteen questions. The company did not receive top rating for any question.

Customers Say Nay

Survey of PPO consumers in California paints a poor picture of the company. It seems the company is number one only in terms of premium collected. Their customers in california have rated the company as “Fair” (2 out of 4) for getting easy care and getting answers from the company.

United Healthcare Receives Fair Ratings in California

United Healthcare Receives Fair Ratings in California – Consumers Think The Company Sucks?


From the evidence I have presented it is obvious that United Healthcare Sucks. The question is how much? To know that you may have to buy a policy with the. But will you?

17 Responses to Pros & Cons of United Healthcare: Pricing, Service & Complaints

  1. jim May 14, 2015 at 7:29 pm #

    They wouldn’t cover my skin cancer diagnosis by two local dermatologists with a lot of experience in their fields. My Drs also were confused as to why the insurance company wouldn’t cover a cancer diagnosis.

  2. Terry Cofield August 13, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

    Their customer service sucks. I think their phone voice actuated system is deliberately set up to confuse, delay and confound people. Whomever is responsible for business processes should be fired. Their staff is not trained and the corporate culture is clearly devoid of any consideration for customer service. They just totally suck in every way and it certainly seems like it is by deliberate design.

    • tommie campbell January 28, 2016 at 7:48 pm #

      Their customer service not only sucks – it is worse than shit! I regret the day I signed on with with united health care I was lied to by the agent and I cannot get the information I need through customer (torture)

  3. Cathy Knox October 6, 2015 at 11:10 pm #

    This company has no empathy for my mom who was very sick ! They are rude and their customer
    service agents give out the wrong information put you on hold forever, then past you from one department to other department. At the end of the transfers they tell you they cant help you!!!
    What I cant hear you!!! You just had me on hold for over an hour and you can’t WHATTTTTT!!!
    The worst company to deal with the old and sick !!! Shame on this company!!! If you can stay far away !!!

  4. kenneth byrd October 13, 2015 at 11:40 am #

    United healthcare sucks. Called 3 times to get proof of insurance spent a good 3 hours on the phone. Still no proof of insurance. a bunch of morons idiots and asses wrapped into one.

    • Tom January 25, 2016 at 3:22 pm #

      Horrible-Every where I went was a secret bill…very good for employers but sucks for employees.

  5. Katz Heitmann December 28, 2015 at 12:21 am #

    I think the entire insurance industry is the problem not just one insurance company so what we need is a lemon law for insurance companies and policies that way you can throw it back if it is useless or they turn out to be full of you know what after 60 days. You can return just about everything else why can’t we simply get rid of insurance that does not work or maybe just sue them clean out UH and fire these people ourselves just need to figure out who the heck knows how to run an insurance company and find a lawyer you can sue a doctor for screwing up so it’s possible to sue an insurance company then hostile take over just sue for all of its assets or act like you might just be able to find a lawyer then just sue them the amount of your claim that they denied if the judge says you can have the money then you can have the money then if they cancel your policy then just complain to insurance commisioner and then add your money to the pan to pay the lawyer that will sue them out of existance. We know they are fooling around with the language it’s impossible to pass a law against obfascation but we might want to advocate an insurance lemon law I’m probably crazier than anyone who posts here regularly and sure am paranoid so you make your best guess and hopefully it’ll work out in your favor. I’ve been trying to get my account activated but don’t know how to do that stuff tried to deal with it I don’t do well at all with sudden things loud noises extra steps they scare me alot. What is it you believe is true?

  6. Andre January 17, 2016 at 12:11 am #

    Terrible! They run you around in endless circles. Every time you call about prior authorization they tell you something different and you have to go through hoop after hoop. They suck. Never get anything completed!

  7. Fred Gerhart March 15, 2016 at 9:44 pm #

    United Healthcare used to be decent. But ever since Obamacare rolled out, UHC has gotten worse every year. They have also continued to raise premiums yearly in the amount of 25% every year just prior to Obamacare rollout and every year there after. We are on the phone with them right now trying to get a prior authorization for a blood thinner my wife needs. We did the same thing last month and all UHC can tell us today is that the doctor did not send the prior authorization to the pharmacy. Seriously? The same process that worked last month that should have been in effect this month is not working? What we have here is a case of the kettle calling the pot black. The UHC staff appears to be poorly trained as they keep people on hold for several minutes while “trying to resolve the situation” and playing very irratable music for their on hold system. The whole thing is designed so that the consumer will get fed up and not fight for their rights. Well guess what Daddy O? Its game on. I am retired and have nothing but time. Round 1 starting now…

  8. Mary Pallay March 23, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

    They told me I HAD to pay for Part D for prescriptions and penalized me for not signing up 1/1/16. I told them I do not take any prescriptions at this point (knock on wood) and asked why I have to pay them $600.+ a year for something I do not use? Answer: You have to its a law. Well I found out its only a law with them. Going to look around to find another provider.

  9. Paul April 29, 2016 at 6:00 pm #

    You need referrals for every single appointment with a specialist, whether for getting your hearing checked with an audiologist or meeting with a ENT regarding snoring. Just ridiculous! Worse of all, the co-pay, with the physician who writes up the referral, doesn’t cover the whole cost, and you get a bill for that “referral” appointment costing 2x more than the co-pay of $25.

    I’ll be going back to Blue Cross next open season.

  10. Paul April 29, 2016 at 6:04 pm #

    Oh!… also, my wife is still waiting for her personal ID card, which I’ve called and asked for twice. Nothing in the mail and it’s been weeks… and it’s practically 4 months into the year.

  11. Alford Kinsey June 2, 2016 at 11:00 pm #

    Me TOOOO !!!! Every thing I HAVE READ HERE I HAVE ALSO EXPERIENCED .Retired with the state of Texas in December of 2015, this is the best the Teachers retirement of Texas can do for the employees and retires for Insurance?UHC can find all kinds of reasons to not pay or help you in any way! Katz Heitmann could not be more correct!!!!!

  12. Jim Chevalley June 30, 2016 at 12:16 am #

    Jim Chevalley

    Their costs are out of sight. With Humana I could add my wife for 77 dollars a month. UHC they want 499! They only refill prescriptions on a 30 day no 90. and cost is higher than Humana. So far very unhappy with UHC

  13. John September 8, 2016 at 12:35 am #

    Just switched to Anthem. United Healthcare sucks in every way. They are the most expensive company we ever dealt with. Out out-of-pocket prescription copays cost us over $210 monthly. $400 a month premiums. Now with Anthem $330 premiums and only $87 a month drug copays.

  14. Pradeep September 29, 2016 at 3:44 am #

    United Health Care simply sucks. They don’t even cover for Annul Check up, to hell with other checks up or diagnostics. Just avoid this company if you are in real need of insurance even if it is through your employer. There are better ones at

    On a side note, Anthem BCBS is the best of all the insurance companies I have been with.

  15. Julie G October 14, 2016 at 1:33 am #

    I agree! They suck! I just got a letter telling me that they will not cover a crown for a dental implant that I already have bc “the crown is not necessary”. And the next letter was even better…They are not going to cover the implant, which was already done months ago and paid for by them.
    IDIOTS! My blood pressure goes up every time I get on the phone with them.

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