Meet Surest: A modern health plan that eliminates deductibles

If you think the health care system is too complicated and due for an overhaul, you may be pleasantly surprised by Surest™ — health plans that help simplify care with upfront pricing.

“This is a common-sense approach created by listening to what people want and then giving it to them,” said Surest CEO Alison Richards. “When people hear the details, they often ask, ‘So, what’s the catch?’ I’m happy to say there isn’t one.”

What’s different with a Surest health plan? For starters, your benefits work for you immediately. There’s no deductible to chip away at and no coinsurance to worry about paying weeks after receiving care.

“With most traditional plans, these charges can be financial barriers to care for some members, and they’re often just confusing,” Alison said. “We removed them from the plans to simplify things.”

Eliminating deductible and coinsurance charges has helped clarify coverage for people who use Surest plans, offered by UnitedHealthcare. For one large employer, 82% of members reported a better understanding of their Surest plan compared to their previous health plan.1

The other differentiator: Upfront pricing. Surest plans, formerly called Bind, list a single, all-in price for more than 490 services. Members can review and consider their options before deciding on care. This upfront pricing also helps avoid billing surprises that, with a traditional health plan, might show up weeks or months after a service or procedure.

Based on data-driven recommendations displayed in the Surest app, members may be able to pay less and receive more effective treatments from quality care providers, as determined by national standardized measures.

“Surest plans address many of the obstacles consumers face, including by eliminating complicated math with clear, upfront costs,” Alison said. “The plans enable choice and flexibility that can fit personal needs and lifestyles.”

People who’ve tried a Surest plan usually like itciting ease of use, price clarity and cost savings among the top advantages. One analysis of a large employer showed out-of-pocket expenses for Surest plan members were 44% less than a matched comparison group,2 while the cost for the company declined by up to 19%.3 Those savings were driven, in part, by Surest members more frequently selecting high-value treatments – including opting for virtual care appointments and avoiding costlier settings, such as emergency departments, for care.4

“Through Surest plans, we’ve shown you can simplify things, retain the quality care within it and still lower costs,” said Brandon Cuevas, chief growth officer, UnitedHealthcare. “Surest plans make health benefits more transparent and easier to use, helping people to make more informed health care choices — with the aim of lowering the total cost of care.”    

UnitedHealthcare is now offering Surest to employers with self-funded health plans nationwide, as well as to employers in 11 states with fully insured plans that include 51 or more employees. By the end of 2022, the company aims to have health plans available to employers with fully insured medical benefits in up to 16 states.

For more information, visit surest.com.

1 Surest member survey of self-insured employees of one large plan sponsor, 2019
2 Surest and UHG plan sponsor members with at least 12 months of incurred experience in 2020 and both medical and pharmacy data; compared to matched comparison groups from a nationally representative commercially insured database matched by gender, age, urbanicity, and state using exact matching algorithms. Results are adjusted for member risk using commercial HHS-Hierarchical Condition Categories (HHS-HCC) risk scores
3 Medical plan savings compared to UnitedHealth Group high-deductible health plans with similar population demographics, geography and disease burden, 2021
4 Surest self-funded 2021 book of business; Milliman 2021 commercial benchmarks and MARA risk adjustment methodology. Risk adjusted for demographics, geography and disease burden.