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The Order of United Commercial Travelers (UCT) was founded in Columbus, Ohio in 1888 to provide financial services to traveling salesmen. UCT went on to expand into Canada in beginning in 1899.
Although membership was originally limited to salesmen, today it is open to men and women over the age of 18 with an interest in giving back to the community. Rather than distributing profits back to shareholders, UCT directs them towards charitable community service actions chosen by the members. Membership benefits include a widow and orphan benefit, a death benefit, and discounts on travel needs like rental cars and hotels.
UCT councils can be found in nearly every state – 47 states and the District of Columbia – as well as in 10 Canadian provinces. Supplemental health insurance products, including long-term care and Medicare Supplement, are sold through agents who are also UCT members.
Medicare Supplement Plans
UCT offers Medicare Supplement plans in all of the states in which they have councils. Most states follow the standardized letter system for determining plan coverage. In states that do not use the lettered system – Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin – UCT offers plans that follow the state-specific requirements.
In California, our sample state, UCT offers a broad range of plans. Of the 11 total plan options, UCT offers seven. That’s more than most companies, giving consumers a good selection to choose from.
Based on the requirements for all companies offering Medicare Supplement, Plan A is available in all states that use this system. This is a basic plan that pays the coinsurance not covered by Medicare Parts A & B. It also covers the first three pints of blood annually that are not covered by Medicare.
UCT also offers Plans B, C, D, F, G, and N. Each of these plans provides a different combination of coverage to allow you to choose how much you want to pay for your plan, and what coverage is the most important. Plan F is the most comprehensive coverage available. It pays for all out-of-pocket expenses that aren’t covered under Medicare; as a result it is frequently the most expensive plan. There is a high deductible option for Plan F that allows you to get the coverage at a lower monthly premium, however, UCT does not appear to offer this option.
UCT does not provide any online rates for comparison. Rate quotes are only available through agents, and policies can only be issued to members of the organization.
Since we are unable to obtain a quote, we can’t provide a rate comparison to other companies.
Ratings and Reviews
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives United Commercial Traveler’s an A+ rating. There are no complaints on file against the company in the past three years.
A search for reviews turns up a Facebook page that states it is unofficial. This page has a few reviews, none of which are particularly helpful for creating a solid image of the company’s reputation. The few negative reviews don’t provide much information and aren’t aimed at Medicare or health insurance plan coverage.
UCT is a small company in spite of covering most of the nation, and a membership-based nonprofit, so it’s not surprising that we found little in the way of reviews.
The Bottom Line
UCT is likely to appeal to those who prefer a small insurance company, and to those who like the idea of a fraternal organization that gives back. Without any rate information we are not able provide a clear comparison, but there are a lot of plan options, and the cost may not matter to those who choose the company for philanthropic purposes.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.