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AARP Part D Insured Through UnitedHealthcare – Pros and Cons


 Is AARP Part DRed Letter D right for you?

AARP Part D is underwritten by United Healthcare. In January 2013 membership in AARP Medicare Rx Plans was over 4.7 million members. More people are enrolled in a Part D Plan sponsored by United Healthcare than any other company.

Being the largest does not by default make it the best. In fact given the fact that all people on Medicare have unique prescription drug needs and budgets it can’t be said that any Part D Plan is the best.

When choosing to enroll in a Medicare Part D Plan you should weigh your specific circumstances against the plan’s benefits. Following is a discussion of AARP Part D Plans pros and cons and how they may effect your Part D experience.

AARP Medicare Rx points to consider

First it should be noted that the majority of people enrolling in a Part D Plan do their homework. It makes sense that if there are more people enrolled in AARP Part D there are perceived to be more positive aspects than negative features.


  • The premium is in line with the national average for Part D Plans.
  • Plans do not require an annual deductible (This could change annually).
  • Copays are in line with averages.
  • PharmacySaver offers $2 copays on many drugs.
  • Formularies include a wide range of covered drugs.
  • Over 65,000 in network pharmacies.
  • Lower copays for mail order drugs.

These are some of the features that members highlight as being positive. Keep in mind that none of these positive features will be of any benefit if the plan is not affordable or your medications are not included in the AARP Part D formulary.


  • There are plans with lower premiums such as Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx PDP.
  • Some plans include a $0 copay for tier 1 drugs.
  • No $0 premium for mail order tier 1 drugs.

Plans with lower premiums are particularly attractive to people on Medicare who do not require any prescription medications. They argue that they are willing to take their chances with a lower premium even if it means paying an annual deductible if the need for medication arises.

AARP Rx Plan options

You can receive AARP branded Part D two different ways. You are able to enroll in a stand-alone Part D Plan or join a Medicare Advantage Plan like AARP MedicareComplete with drug benefits are included.

If you are joining stand-alone Part D Plan the determining factors for which plan to join will normally come down to plan premium and formulary.

AARP MedicareRx Preferred PDP is a popular choice for people who do not require some of the less popular drugs that generally treat chronic conditions. The premium will be lowest for this plan.

If you require medications not included in a basic plan you should look into AARP MedicareRx Enhanced PDP. This plan has an expanded formulary with many of the less common medications included.

Before you enroll in any Medicare drug plan you should do your home work. Save time and compare Medicare plans online.


  1. Carmelita Scott

    Can i received some type of AARP if I retire at the age of 62? I know I cant get medicare at 62 what can I get to help with my Health insurance, emdical,dental, and medicine?

  2. Carmelita, You have a couple options if you would like to have an AARP endorsed health plan prior to Medicare. There are two plans for those between the ages of 50 and 64. AARP Essential Premiere Health is underwritten by Aetna and AARP Hospital Indemnity Insurance is underwritten by United HealthCare. You can also receive some health related discounts as a member of AARP.

  3. Why do I have to pay for drugs Insurence ,when I,so far have not taking any drugs.
    Thank you

  4. Cecilia, Participation in the Part D program is optional. But if your situation changes and you want to enroll in the future, you will have to wait until the enrollment period and you will pay a 1% penalty per month for as long as you have Part D. That’s 1% of the average monthly premium every month.

    If you stop and think about it for a minute, it’s like someone saying, ” Why do I need automobile insurance? My car is not wrecked.” The plan with the lowest monthly premium is Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx at $15.10 per month.

  5. Unfortunately I did not sign up for medicare part b within the time limits when I turned 65 (May 12,2011).I understand I do not qualify for part B now until July 1,2012 at which time I will pay a penalty.What I have now is Medicare part A only. During this current open enrollment period which expires 12/07/2011 would it be benificial and can I go ahead and find a Part D plan ? I currently am taking no prescriptions.Would I be able to cancel the stand alone part D when I again become eligible for part B and decide to go with a Medicare Advantage plan?

  6. Sandra, Yes you can sign up for a Part D plan now and you will have a Special Enrollment Period when your Part B becomes effective to join a Medicare Advantage plan.

  7. I am interested in changing from Health Springs medicare part d coverage to AARP. Also i am interested in the medicare advantage plan due to alot of medicines either Health Springs will not approve or doesn’t carry at all. Right now i have no payout to them and i pay a prescription charge of 1.10 for gernic drugs and 3.10 for non gernic drugs. do you offer the same coverage for me with a more range of drugs that are covered? Right now any charge for this plan with Health Springs i don’t pay any out of pocket charge for it? Is there any charge to change over?

  8. Sorry i forgot to ask if i decide to change over to AARP how do i go about doing this as soon as possible? Is this the same kind ofjnamed coverage like a PDP and not a PPD that will cancel out my medicare coverage like the PPD?

  9. Larae, Given the copayment amounts you pay it sounds as though you receive extra help with your Part D. If that is the case all plans will have the same copayment amounts. The is no charge to submit an application with another Part D carrier.

  10. Larae, you can submit an application for an AARP Part D plan as you would any other plan. You can meet with an agent, you can enroll through their website, you can enroll over the phone, or you can mail an application. As this is November, if you receive extra help and have a Special Enrollment Period, you can submit an application for either a 2011 plan which will become effective December 1st or submit an application for a 20112 AARP PDP that will become effective January 1st. Should you choose the option for a 2011 plan, it will roll over to a 2012 plan after December.

  11. I have AARP and have had for several years. I use avandia and have for at least 6 years. This year AARP will not let me fill the scpit from my Dr. They say need more information, we have sent more information still no drug. I have been out 2 weeks now. Who are they to say my Dr is wrong and I should not be taking this drug. They take my money each month and I bought the best plan. AARP does run the drug program Unit. ed Health does, AARP is just a front for them. AARP does not help seniors with these plans they just collect the money and then get out of the way. Find another company to buy from, I know I will.

  12. Richard, thanks for the comment. Vote with your feet!




  14. Linda, I know the frustration you must feel but you have to consider your timing. You are trying to handle an administrative task in the final days of the Open Enrollment Season. Give it a try next week and you should have less frustration.

  15. I am about to enroll in Medicare Part B and am considering signing up for AARP Medicare Complete. Does this program include part D or will i be subject to a penalty if I enroll with this plan

    Will I need to purchase a separate part D plan

    thank you

  16. Ann, AARP MedicareComplete includes Part D. You will not incur a late enrollment penalty by signing up during your Initial Enrollment Period. You will need to have Parts A and B, live in the plan’s service area and not have end-stage renal disease to qualify.

  17. I have a question. I am enrolled with you and need to know if you pay for compound prescriptions if I send in the paperwork from the pharmacy. This pharmacy does not take insurance.

  18. Mary Jo, This site is not owned or operated by AARP or United Healthcare. Contact your agent or call the member services number on your card for answers.

  19. Since end of November 2014 I submitted 2 letters informing Unitedhealhcare that I SWITCHED to another insurer effective Jan.1 2015. However, I keep receiving bills for January, February an now for March. My numerous attempts to call were unsuccesive. For the last time I am trying to clarify this situation and asking to stop sending bills. I DON’T use your services since Dec.31 2014.
    P.S. This Email address is not mine.

  20. I am very frustrated! I am a member of AARP/ unitedHealthcare (PDP) and I have reached the dreaded GAP/ donut-hole about two weeks ago. I am taking some very expensive drugs, one is Victoza that cost $790.00 per month. I can get financial help with this drug and my insulin through NovaNordisk, but I have to mail them proof that I am in the GAP with the application. Two weeks ago I received a statement dated March 1ST that covered my plan through February. I have made repeated calls to United Health Care trying to expedite getting the proof that I am in the GAP to no avail. I will run out of Victoza in two or three weeks and cannot afford to buy it myself. As far as I can tell it will be the first of June before I receive the April statement that will prove that I am in the GAP. So that means I will go without a critical drug for two months because United Health Care is unwilling to send me a letter or statement that says I am in the GAP. PLEASE SOMEONE HELP with this problem.

    This must be a problem with lots of people other than myself and should be addressed my someone at a Government level perhaps?

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