How Medicare Advantage and the UCard helps one woman with over-the-counter benefits and utilities

The power of UCard

At 72 years young, Natharan Proby is at the point in her life where her focus is on being as healthy as possible to be there for her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Throughout her life, it hasn’t always been easy — she had her thyroid removed, she has experienced homelessness and works to manage her type 2 diabetes.

In looking for ways to help improve her overall health, she enrolled in a UnitedHealthcare Dual Special Needs plan. A Medicare Advantage plan that works with Medicaid, she said it helps her find more stability and security in her health.

Much of this has been from using her UCard, which allows her to easily access her benefits in one card. It may seem like a simple membership ID card at first glance, but UCard can be used in many ways, including helping to access numerous components of a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plan, including:

  • Checking in at the doctor’s office or pharmacy
  • Signing up for a free gym membership
  • Buying approved over-the-counter (OTC) health and wellness products
  • Buying healthy food
  • Earning rewards for healthy behaviors, such as getting a flu shot or achieving activity goals

“The UCard has been the major change,” Natharan said. “Everything’s right there on the app. And the accessibility is good.”

UCard helps provide a smoother, simpler experience for using benefits and programs, making it easier to take advantage of what a plan has to offer. If there are benefit credits, they are automatically loaded onto the UCard. What’s more, an enhanced UCard Hub on the member website and mobile app gives members real-time access to available balances, a store locator and more.

Her Dual Complete plan also allows for her to use benefit credits to help with home utility payments.

UCard and utilities

“I change it up a little bit. Sometimes I buy groceries, sometimes I pay my light bill,” Natharan said. “But it’s good. You have the flexibility to do a little of each one.”

She also enjoys the extra incentives for walking – she walks 30 minutes a day, 10 days a month and receives a small reward on her UCard from engaging in healthy activities.

Additionally, Natharan receives a HouseCalls visit through her health plan – a yearly in-home health and wellness service offered at no additional cost to help members stay on top of their health between regular doctor visits.

HouseCalls in action

Her health plan has helped to improve her access to care, for big and little things. For example, UnitedHealthcare’s national provider network – Medicare Advantage’s largest1 – enabled her to find a provider to complete successful cataract surgery, which allowed her to see color on her TV again.

With the variety of wrap-around features with her plan, and the ease of access provided by UCard, Natharan is feeling more positive about her overall wellness.

“I’ve dealt with a lot,” she said, “but UnitedHealthcare has made it a lot better.”

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