MINNETONKA, Minn. (Oct. 7, 2013) UnitedHealthcare today announced its 2014 portfolio of Medicare plans, which features new ways for beneficiaries to save money on their Medicare coverage. With the addition of Walmart to the company's preferred retail pharmacy network and Pharmacy Saver program, customers who enroll in UnitedHealthcare's stand-alone Part D plans and Medicare Advantage plans that include drug coverage can save money on their medications at nearly 20,000 retail locations nationwide.
UnitedHealthcare's Medicare plans, many of which carry the AARP brand, have been designed to help meet the diverse needs of the more than 51 million current beneficiaries as well as baby boomers who are aging into Medicare at the rate of 10,000 per day.
Serving nearly one in five Medicare beneficiaries, UnitedHealthcare has the largest membership in the industry in each of its core Medicare product offerings: Medicare Advantage plans, Part D prescription drug plans and Medicare supplement plans.
"We're the preferred choice of more beneficiaries than any other company because our plans offer benefits that help our members maintain their health and quality of life while also saving money," said Jack Larsen, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement.
Beneficiaries can find additional benefits and services not available through Original Medicare in UnitedHealthcare's Medicare Advantage plans, which will be available in 44 states, the District of Columbia and most major metropolitan areas in 2014. These benefits include an annual physical, a routine vision and hearing exam, hearing aids at a substantially discounted price, and access to a registered nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Benefits vary by plan.
In the company's 2014 coverage area, 93 percent of Medicare-eligible individuals more than 31 million people will have access to a standard UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plan with a $0 premium beyond the Medicare Part B premium.
Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their health coverage during the Open Enrollment Period, which begins Oct. 15.
Walmart Adds 4,500 Retail Locations to UnitedHealthcare Preferred Network, Pharmacy Saver
Walmart and Sam's Club will join UnitedHealthcare's preferred retail pharmacy network in 2014, making it even more convenient for consumers enrolled in the company's stand-alone Part D plans to save money on their medications. Members enrolled in UnitedHealthcare's AARP MedicareRx Part D plans are projected to save more than $100 million on their copays this year by using preferred retail pharmacies.1
With the addition of Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies, UnitedHealthcare's preferred retail pharmacy network will include nearly 20,000 retail locations nationwide. Walmart and Sam's Club are joining the other well-known and respected retailers that already participate: Walgreens the nation's largest retail pharmacy chain Kroger, Target, Safeway, Publix, Hy-Vee, H-E-B, Wegmans, Ahold stores including Stop & Shop, Giant and Martins, and the Delhaize group of stores including Hannaford.
The savings opportunities are maximized for customers enrolled in the AARP MedicareRx Saver Plus plan. These members will be able to access many of the most commonly used generic drugs for as low as $1 when purchased at pharmacies in the preferred retail pharmacy network. The Saver Plus plan is one of the lowest-cost Part D plans available nationwide in 2014.
The preferred retail pharmacy network savings are also available to people who join the AARP MedicareRx Preferred and Enhanced plans, both of which will have no deductible in 2014, allowing members to begin accessing their prescription drug coverage with their very first prescriptions of the year.
Customers who choose a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug coverage can continue to take advantage of savings through the Pharmacy Saver program in 2014. Pharmacy Saver operates as a distinct program, allowing Medicare Advantage-Part D members to access hundreds of generic prescription drugs for prices even lower than the copayment, often as low as $2.
UnitedHealthcare updated Pharmacy Saver for 2014 to increase cost-savings opportunities, namely through the addition of Walmart to the program. All of the retailers that participate in UnitedHealthcare's preferred retail pharmacy network also participate in Pharmacy Saver.
UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage-Part D customers will also be able to save money on an expanded list of medications, including those used to treat some of the most common conditions among older adults, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. For the first time, the generic version of Actos, a diabetes medication, has been added to the Pharmacy Saver drug list at select retail locations. Additional Pharmacy Saver retailers, including Target and Delhaize, have added the generic version of Lipitor to their drug lists, meaning more members will have access to the medication at a lower cost.
UnitedHealthcare will have a broad network of more than 65,000 pharmacies in 2014, including many independent and community pharmacies, to provide members the convenience and flexibility of having a choice in where they access their prescription drugs.
Stand-alone Part D plan members who prefer the convenience of receiving their medications through the mail can also take advantage of cost-savings in 2014. Most can access a 90-day supply of tier 1 generic medications for a $0 copay when purchased from OptumRx, UnitedHealthcare's preferred mail-service pharmacy.
New MedicareStores Open in Communities Nationwide
UnitedHealthcare will open six MedicareStores during the Open Enrollment Period and continue to operate 13 of the stores that have been open throughout 2013. The MedicareStores are part of UnitedHealthcare's growing nationwide retail footprint, with more than 25 storefronts now located in 12 states.
Stores will be located in the following cities: Apple Valley, Calif.; Baldwin Hills, Calif.; Chula Vista, Calif.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Lakewood, Colo.; Las Vegas; Tucson, Ariz.; Daytona Beach, Fla.; Lakeland, Fla.; The Villages, Fla.; North Charleston, S.C.; St. Louis; Ferguson, Mo.; Fort Worth, Texas; Houston; and Racine, Wisc.
The UnitedHealthcare MedicareStores are located in malls and other popular shopping destinations, making it easy and convenient for Medicare beneficiaries to get answers to their questions and support in making an enrollment decision. Rather than schedule an appointment with a licensed agent in their home or enroll over the phone, people can stop by the stores at a time that is convenient for them and receive personalized, one-on-one support from a licensed UnitedHealthcare agent.
The MedicareStores are designed to be a community resource whether visitors are looking to learn about Medicare or are ready to enroll in a plan. At the stores people will find educational resources, such as Medicare Made Clear guides that explain the ABCs of Medicare and videos geared toward caregivers who are helping their parents or other loved ones with Medicare enrollment. Beneficiaries can also find information about UnitedHealthcare Medicare plans and work with a licensed agent to enroll right at the store.
For information about UnitedHealthcare MedicareStore locations, call (877) 596-3258 (TTY: 711), 8 a.m.-8 p.m. local time, seven days a week.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 780,000 physicians and other health care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.