Based in San Antonio, Texas, USAA was actually created as an auto insurance provider in 1922. Today it has expanded to provide many types of insurance, including health plans. Its customers are limited to US military personnel and their families.
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- Types of Plans Offered
- Member Resources
- Unique Features
- Customer Service
Types of Plans Offered
The company divides these plans into four main categories (all of which include coverage for prescription medications):
- Platinum: With the highest monthly premiums but the lowest deductibles and copays, these plans cover 90% of your costs.
- Gold: With the second highest monthly premiums but the second lowest deductibles and copays, these plans cover 80% of your costs.
- Silver: With the second lowest monthly premiums but the second highest deductibles and copays, these plans cover 70% of your costs.
- Bronze: With the lowest monthly premiums but the highest deductibles and copays, these plans cover 60% of your costs.
There is dental and vision coverage available as well. Each plan has different benefits, of course, but you can get dental coverage for as low as $25 a month and vision coverage for as low as $12.50 per month. Both types are available throughout the US. Dental plans work through Cigna and cover all three degrees of dental work to some extent (preventative, restorative, and major). Vision plans, through VSP, cover a WellVision exam, contact or glasses with prescribed lenses, and even discounts on Lasik or lenses. Health insurance is just one of several insurance industries offered by USAA, which actually was created out of a need for auto insurance. In addition to auto and health insurance, this company has insurance for renters, homeowners, small businesses, and needs ranging from life insurance to boat insurance.
Members of USAA have a lot of benefits but not necessarily resources. This might be partially due to the fact that health insurance is only one of many types of insurance offered by the company, not the focus. Resources that members have include, as would be expected, many phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses for contacting the company. There are several different sectors to contact in health insurance here, including claims representatives and services personnel. These are the primary ways to contact USAA if members have questions. Aside from these, though, there is a member community where members can post questions and comments and connect with other members. The articles on this site range in topics from finances to health care to all the various insurance industries that USAA caters to. There's also a section for current healthcare news and plenty of resources for member advice. In fact, that's one of the main provisions through the company's website-advice. Whether members want help shopping for a health plan or if they need financial advice, there are tons of resources for this. Members cannot contact USAA 24/7, but they do maintain certain business hours.
What makes USAA unique is their exclusive customer base. This company is designed to serve military families, and for that reason only military personnel and their immediate family members can even join. Once you are a member, however, you have so many advantages. USAA offers discounts on other types of insurances, waived fees and lower rates for banking, and helpful resources for financial decisions and health choices. These are the features that USAA highlights-the main benefits members look forward to. There are some member discounts for health-promoting programs as well. These include fitness clubs, nutrition counseling, and programs to quit smoking, to name just a few. The USAA mobile app also allows members to make payments easily and transfer money between accounts.
USAA values honesty and integrity, and this translates into the way they treat their customers. There are several ways customers can contact the company-primarily by phone, email, or of course mail. There are only certain business hours during which you can use these means, though, as USAA is not a 24/7 business. USAA also helps customers with an informative FAQs section, healthcare advice articles, financial advice and tools, and explanations of healthcare terms. They outline their basic medical plans and discuss how to decide which plan is right for you. As the phone is the best way to contact the company, they also provide updates about the status of their call volume currently, so customers can use this to determine when to contact them without a long wait time. Extra features like this make the company more customer-centric.
- Limited Plans and Areas
- No 24/7 Customer Service
Limited Plans and Areas
USAA health plans are available in about half of the US. The states they cover include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
USAA does not offer Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and doesn't make any mention of PPOs, HMOs, or Medicaid. What they do offer, however, is Medicare, long-term care insurance, disability insurance, and, of course, major medical health plans. Two great benefits of their major medical plans are (1) that your health condition (past and present) will not affect the coverage you qualify for and (2) that preventative care is covered 100% as long as it's approved by the ACA. USAA has short-term plans as well, but for these, preventative care is not covered, your health condition can affect your premium, and you can't receive coverage for an existing health problem.
One thing the company could do better would be to provide more tools to find doctors and healthcare facilities. They provide basic information about their health plans online, but to find more details about them, customers just have to contact the company. Without the convenience of tools like these, working with USAA might be a bit frustrating or at least time-consuming.
No 24/7 Customer Service
Members and potential customers can't contact customer service 24/7 here. There are just certain business hours that the company is available, so if you have a medical or financial emergency, you will have to wait until those hours to make a connection. This also means members cannot track their claims 24/7.