United Healthcare offers multiple types of Medicare Advantage plans throughout the US. Some of these plans are under the United Healthcare name while other are under the United name with AARP branding.
The AARP name is usually added to the United RPPO Medicare advantage plan. This plan is an in and out of network plan. If you stay in network (use United doctors and hospitals) there is a copay schedule. If you see a non participating doctor or hospital, you will pay a cost share such as 30%. This plan offers a bit more flexibility than an HMO plan does as the HMO does not allow you to go out of network.
United also offers plans without the AARP logo. Many times they use the in network only plans on an non AARP branded basis. These plans usually have better in network benefits than the AARP branded plans do. The trade off is that they will not allow you to go out of network. United has a substantial network in most states so access to providers is not often a problem.
In summary, a consumer should only enroll int he out of network plan if they are planning on using out of network doctors. The in network only non branded United plan is the better option for those that are willing to use the United network.