UnitedHealthcare (UHC) are a private insurance company that offer several types of Medicare plans. These include Medicare Part D plans, which provide prescription drug coverage.
UHC offer different prescription drug plan options, which vary in terms of their coverage, exclusions, and costs.
We may use a few terms in this piece that can be helpful to understand when selecting the best insurance plan:
- Deductible: This is an annual amount that a person must spend out of pocket within a certain time period before an insurer starts to fund their treatments.
- Coinsurance: This is a percentage of a treatment cost that a person will need to self-fund. For Medicare Part B, this comes to 20%.
- Copayment: This is a fixed dollar amount that an insured person pays when receiving certain treatments. For Medicare, this usually applies to prescription drugs.
Each Part D plan has a formulary, which is a list of covered drugs. All formularies contain at least two medications in each of the commonly prescribed classes. They include both brand name and generic drugs.
Formularies vary, so before choosing a plan, a person may wish to make sure that it covers their particular medications.
All Part D plans exclude drugs in specific categories. These include medications that promote the following:
- weight loss
- hair growth
- relief of sexual dysfunction
Part D plans also exclude over-the-counter drugs and nutritional supplements.
In some cases, generic drugs may cost more than the brand name equivalents. In such cases, UHC Part D plans sometimes exclude high cost generic drugs.
UHC sell four types of Medicare plans.
Medicare Advantage, or Part C, provides the benefits of original Medicare, including the inpatient hospitalization insurance of Part A and the outpatient medical insurance of Part B.
Some UHC plans include prescription drug coverage and extra benefits, such as dental, vision, and hearing care.
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D plans offer coverage for prescription drugs, and they are available to people with original Medicare.
Part A covers the medications that someone receives during a hospital stay, and Part B covers limited drugs, including those that a doctor or healthcare professional must administer.
Therefore, if a person needs take-home prescription drugs, they may wish to consider buying a Part D plan.
Medigap is Medicare supplement insurance. The plans pay up to 100% of the out-of-pocket costs of parts A and B.
UHC Medigap plan options include:
- Plan A
- Plan B
- high deductible Plan G
- Plan K
- Plan L
- Plan N
If an individual first became eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020, they can also opt for Plan C or high deductible Plan F.
Dual Complete, or Dual Special Needs Plan, is an option for people who qualify for Medicare and Medicaid.
It features a type of Medicare Advantage plan called a Special Needs Plan (SNP), which tailors benefits, medications, and providers to the healthcare requirements of individuals with certain chronic diseases.
UHC have two choices for people with Medicare who need prescription drug coverage: Medicare Advantage plans and Part D plans.
Medicare Advantage plans
If a person prefers an all-in-one health plan, they can get prescription drug coverage with one of UHC’s Medicare Advantage plans that include this benefit.
UHC’s Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage have $0 copays on most common prescription drugs.
Part D plans
If someone has original Medicare and needs a stand-alone prescription drug plan, they may choose a UHC Part D plan. These plans do not work with most Medicare Advantage plans.
The company offer low premium plans for people who do not take many prescription drugs. They also sell higher premium plans for those who take multiple prescription drugs.
UHC Part D costs vary among plans and areas of the country. Using the UHC plan finder tool and the zips codes below, the following table shows specific examples of costs to expect.
|Location||Plan name||Monthly premium||Annual deductibles||Copays|
|Zip code 19151: Philadelphia County, PA||AARP MedicareRx Walgreens||$35.90||$0 for Tiers 1 and 2|
$445 for Tiers 3, 4, and 5
|$0 to $15 for Tier 1 (30-day)|
$0 to $45 for Tier 1 (90-day)
$6 to $20 for Tier 2 (30-day)
$18 to $60 for Tier 2 (90-day)
|Zip code 85032: Phoenix, AZ||AARP MedicareRx Saver Plus||$31.60||$445||$1 to $6 for Tier 1 (30-day)|
$3 to $18 for Tier 1 (90-day)
$12 to $17 for Tier 2 (30-day)
$36 to $51 for Tier 2 (90-day)
|Zip code 60624: Chicago, IL||AARP MedicareRx Preferred||$81.50||$0||$5 to $15 for Tier 1 (30-day)|
$0 to $45 for Tier 1 (90-day)
$10 to $20 for Tier 2 (30-day)
$0 to 60 for Tier 2 (90-day)
Although Part D can provide substantial help with prescription drug costs, the expenses can still mount, particularly for people who take several medications.
Individuals with limited income and resources may qualify for Extra Help, a program that helps pay Part D costs for eligible individuals.
The Extra Help program provides about $5,000 worth of assistance per year.
Costs of UnitedHealthcare Part D plans include deductibles, copays, and monthly premiums that vary among plans and areas of the U.S.
A person who does not take many prescription medications may benefit from a low monthly premium plan. In contrast, someone who takes multiple medications may find that a higher monthly premium plan is a better option.
Before deciding on a policy, a person may find it useful to look carefully at all costs to ensure that the plan meets their needs.