Quick UnitedHealthcare Prescription Drug (Part D) Plans review
UnitedHealthcare-logo UnitedHealthcare offers prescription drug coverage through three different standalone Part D plans and as a bundled service in their Medicare Advantage PPO and HMO plans. Part D plans have a separate Medicare star rating, while ratings from other entities listed here are based on UnitedHealth Group as a parent company or on UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage Plans.
Medicare rating: 3.5 to 4 stars A.M. Best financial strength rating: A BBB rating: A+ NCQA rating: 2.5 to 4 stars Consumer Affairs rating: 3.5 J.D. Power ranking: 8th out of 10

UnitedHealthcare is the nation’s largest provider of health care plans and is one of four main providers of standalone Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs) in the U.S. UnitedHealthcare’s health and drug plans are widely available.

UnitedHealthcare and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), a senior’s advocacy group, have a long-standing relationship. You will notice that UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans include AARP in the name. You do not have to be an AARP member to purchase a UnitedHealthcare plan.

UnitedHealthcare participates in the Senior Savings Model for enrollees who require insulin to manage their diabetes. According to UnitedHealthcare, in 2021, eligible members saved an average of nearly $450 on insulin through that program.

What Do UnitedHealthcare Prescription Drug (Medicare Part D) Plans Cover?

UnitedHealthcare Medicare Part D prescription drug plans are regulated by Medicare and must cover:

  • A wide range of prescription drugs that people with Medicare take, including generic options
  • Medication Therapy Management (MTM) programs for complex health needs

UnitedHealthcare, like all Medicare Part D prescription plan providers, has a formulary (list of drugs) and separates drugs into tiers that correspond to costs. Lower tiers include generic, lower-cost medications, and higher tiers include higher-cost, brand name, or specialty drugs.

UnitedHealthcare’s standalone Part D plans and their Medicare Advantage Plans participate in the senior savings model that offers savings on insulin. These plans provide affordable copayments on select insulins, and you pay no more than $35 for a month’s supply.

UnitedHealthcare has a network of participating preferred pharmacies and offers discounts for preferred mail-order prescriptions delivered to your home through OptumRX. When you search for a Medicare Advantage or standalone Part D Plan, check to see if your preferred pharmacy is in-network and whether the formulary includes the drugs you take.

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What are Premera Medicare Advantage Plan options?

Premera has seven major Medicare Advantage Plans. Each plan is an HMO with no or a low premium and out-of-pocket costs. These plans require that you choose a primary care physician and other health providers in the plan’s network. You’ll likely need a referral from your primary care physician to see a specialist.

Premera’s Medicare Advantage Plans come with no annual medical deductible. In-person office visits range from $5 to $15 with a primary care physician and up to $50 with a specialist. Telehealth visits can be as low as $5 with a primary care physician and up to $45 with a specialist. Some plans have a $0 premium, while others can cost up to $191 per month. Annual maximum out-of-pocket costs range from $4,900 to $6,700.

Compare the 2022 Premera Blue Cross Medicare Advantage Plan options below:

What Are UnitedHealthcare’s Prescription Drug (Part D) Plan Options?

UnitedHealthcare has three Prescription Drug (Part D) plan options. All plans have the same initial coverage limit (what you and your plan spend before you enter the coverage gap), and the same annual out-of-pocket threshold amount (when you enter the catastrophic coverage phase).

Monthly premiums and drug copays vary, depending on which plan you choose. The AARP MedicareRX Walgreens Plan has the lowest monthly premium, and no copay for preferred generic drugs. The annual deductible is less than the Saver Plus plan. The Saver Plus Plan has a mid-range monthly premium and the highest annual deductible charge. The Preferred plan has the highest monthly premium, but a zero deductible.

Monthly premium costs vary, depending on your state and county. See UnitedHealthcare’s 2022 standalone Part D Plans available in Denver County, CO:

Plan name Monthly premium Annual deductible Initial Coverage Limit Annual out-of-pocket threshold amount
AARP MedicareRX Walgreens (PDP)  $29.30 $310 $4,430 $7,050
AARP MedicareRX Saver Plus (PDP) $44.00 $480 $4,430 $7,050
AARP MedicareRx Preferred (PDP) $103.90 $0 $4,430 $7,050

*Based on pricing in Denver County, CO

Pros and Cons of UnitedHealthcare’s Prescription Drug (Part D) Plans

What we like about UnitedHealthcare’s Part D Plans:  The drawbacks of UnitedHealthcare’s Part D Plans: 
  • Discounts for mail-order prescriptions
  • Three different plans to choose from
  • Widely available
  • No low monthly premium plan offered for people who don’t need prescription drugs, but need coverage to avoid paying a penalty for late enrollment in a Part D plan.

UnitedHealthcare Prescription Drug (Part D) Reviews and Ratings

UntiedHealthcare’s prescription drug plans are only rated separately by Medicare. Other reviews and ratings include other UnitedHealthcare plans, services, or products.

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how Medicare, A.M. Best, the Better Business Bureau, and more rate UnitedHealthcare’s plans and parent company.

Medicare rating: 3.5 to 4 stars UnitedHealthcare’s Part D plans have an average quality rating of 3.5 to 4 stars from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Find the Medicare star rating for the plans in your area at Medicare.gov.
A.M. Best financial strength rating: A A.M. Best sets credit ratings for insurers. In December 2020, AM Best affirmed its A Financial Strength Rating (FSR) for the majority of the health and dental insurance subsidiaries of UnitedHealth Group, collectively referred to as UnitedHealthcare. An A rating indicates UnitedHealthcare has an excellent ability to meet financial obligations.
BBB rating: A+ UnitedHealth Group has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, but is not accredited by the BBB. The company has closed 789 complaints in the last three years.
NCQA rating: 2.5 to 4.0 stars According to the National Committee for Quality Assurance, satisfaction ratings for UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage PPO and HMO plans (most of which include drug coverage) range from 2.5 – 4.0 stars. The higher-rated plans are accredited through NCQA.
Consumer Affairs rating: 3.5  Consumer Affairs gave UnitedHealthcare health insurance (including Medicare Advantage Plans) 3.5 out of 5 stars based on 677 ratings within the last year. UnitedHealthcare’s Part D plans do not have a separate rating by Consumer Affairs, but many of their Medicare Advantage Plans include drug coverage.
J.D. Power ranking: 8th out of 10 In its 2021 Medicare Advantage Study, J.D. Power measured Medicare Advantage Plan satisfaction based on coverage and benefits, provider choice, cost, customer service, information and communication, and billing and payment. UnitedHealthcare scored 795 points out of 1,000 and came in eighth out of the top 10 Medicare Advantage providers.
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Insurance and health care consultant

Tammy Burns is an experienced health insurance advisor. She earned her nursing degree in 1990 from Jacksonville State University, obtained her insurance billing and coding certification in 1995, and holds a health and life insurance license in Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Burns is Affordable Care Act (ACA)-certified for health insurance and other ancillary, life, and annuity products. She maintains an active nursing license and practices private-duty nursing.

Burns’ background as a nurse, insurance biller and coder, and insurance consultant includes infectious disease, oncology, gynecology, phlebotomy, post operative, family medicine, geriatrics, home health, hospice, human resources, management, billing, coding, claims, fixed annuities, group and individual health and life products, and Medicare. She’s always been driven by a desire to help people, spending more than 25 years as a practicing nurse in hospitals, private doctors’ offices, home health, and hospice. As a nurse, Burns supported patients filing insurance claims with Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies as well as responding to billing questions from confused patients.

Seeing firsthand how unsuspecting patients are frequently confused by an overly complex system they don’t understand led Burns to become an insurance agent and health care consultant, now helping people understand the medical system. Since becoming an insurance agent in 2013, she has worked with some of the largest and most reputable insurance carriers and agencies in the nation, and she has built a large and loyal clientele by way of her commitment to transparency and personalized service.

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