UnitedHealthcare Introduces Pharmacy Saver for Medicare Plan Members

Program to Bring Cost Savings, Offering Members Prescription Drugs as Low as $2 Per Script

MINNETONKA, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, announced a new program that will enable enrollees in the company’s market-leading Medicare plans to save money on hundreds of prescription medications in 2011. This new program applies to the company’s Medicare Part D members in 2011, including most of those who receive their prescription drug benefits in conjunction with a Medicare Advantage plan from UnitedHealthcare, such as AARP® MedicareComplete.

Through collaboration with The Kroger Co., Safeway Inc. and Prescription Solutions, UnitedHealthcare has created Pharmacy Saver, a unique program that reduces members’ out-of-pocket costs on prescriptions purchased at pharmacies participating in the program to prices even lower than their co-payments, sometimes as low as $2 for a 30- or even 90-day supply. Pharmacy Saver applies to hundreds of prescription drugs, including eight of the top 10 generic drugs most commonly used by UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare plan members.

“Economic pressures are putting a strain on many people’s budgets, including many seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries living on fixed incomes,” said Tom Paul, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. “Pharmacy Saver is another example of our promise to provide our members with affordable prescription drugs. The new program combined with the other consumer-friendly features of our Part D and Medicare Advantage plans will help our members get the most value for their money in 2011.”

How Pharmacy Saver Works

Since launching its Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in 2006, UnitedHealthcare has delivered on its Savings Promise to members – a commitment that they will get the lowest available price on their medications. That lowest price could be their co-pay, or the pharmacy’s retail price, or a specially negotiated rate – whichever is the best deal for the member. Pharmacy Saver is the latest evolution of the Savings Promise.

Members enrolled in UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare plans, including its AARP® MedicareRx prescription drug plans and its AARP® MedicareComplete Medicare Advantage-Prescription Drug plans, will see their typical out-of-pocket cost for a 30-day supply of select medications decrease to as low as $2 when they purchase their prescriptions from pharmacies participating in the program.

Pharmacy Saver will provide UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare plan members valuable cost savings plus the flexibility and convenience of accessing their prescriptions at many of America’s most popular pharmacies. Beginning Jan. 1, 2011, members can take advantage of Pharmacy Saver at more than 3,000 pharmacy locations nationwide.

Pharmacies currently participating in the program include:

  • The Kroger Co. and its wholly owned affiliates that have in-store pharmacies: Kroger; Ralphs; King Soopers; City Market; Dillons; Smith's; Fry's; QFC; Baker's; Owen's; JayC; Hilander; Gerbes; Pay Less; Scott's; Fred Meyer
  • Safeway Inc. and its wholly owned affiliates: Safeway; Vons; Randalls; Genuardi's; Carrs; Dominick's; Pavilions; Tom Thumb
  • Prescription Solutions mail order pharmacy, a UnitedHealth Group company

“We believe it’s important that our members have the flexibility to access their drugs in the way that’s most comfortable and convenient for them,” said Paul. “In developing Pharmacy Saver, we worked to ensure that our members could take advantage of the cost savings regardless of whether they prefer to purchase their drugs in a retail pharmacy or through the mail.”

UnitedHealthcare will continue to enhance its Savings Promise by working with more pharmacies to bring additional savings to members in 2011.

Pharmacy Saver Strengthens UnitedHealthcare’s AARP MedicareRx Preferred Plan

A reduction in premium combined with no plan deductible and additional savings through the Pharmacy Saver program make UnitedHealthcare’s AARP® MedicareRx Preferred plan a strong option for Medicare beneficiaries in 2011.

On average, members currently enrolled in the Preferred plan will see a $5 decrease in their monthly plan premium next year. In addition, it will be the only basic Part D plan available nationwide in 2011 without a deductible.

Stability, value and consumer-friendly benefits such as robust drug formularies and access to a network of more than 60,000 pharmacies have made the Preferred plan the nation’s largest Part D plan since the Part D program launched in 2006.

New Website Provides Resources and Information

More information about Pharmacy Saver is available at www.UnitedPharmacySaver.com, including lists of prescription drugs that are available at a reduced cost at each of the pharmacies participating in the program.

UnitedHealthcare customer service representatives, available at 1-877-488-5587, TTY 711, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week, can also answer questions about Pharmacy Saver.

About UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through six operating businesses: UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement, UnitedHealthcare Community & State, OptumHealth, Ingenix and Prescription Solutions. Through its family of businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 75 million people worldwide. Visit www.unitedhealthgroup.com for more information.

About The Kroger Co.

Kroger, the nation’s largest traditional grocery retailer, employs more than 334,000 associates who serve customers in 2,468 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s. The Company also operates 784 convenience stores, 372 fine jewelry stores, 932 supermarket fuel centers and 40 food processing plants in the U.S. Kroger, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, focuses its charitable efforts on supporting hunger relief, health and wellness initiatives, and local organizations in the communities it serves. For more information about Kroger, please visit www.kroger.com.

About Safeway www.Safeway.com

Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America, based on sales. The company operates 1,712 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $40.8 billion in 2009. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY.

Plans are insured or covered by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or one of its affiliates, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract and a Medicare-approved Part D sponsor.

Other pharmacies are available in our network.

The benefit information provided herein is a brief summary, not a comprehensive description of benefits. For more information contact the plan.


Matt Burns, 952-931-6242
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Minnesota

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Seniors  Health  Pharmaceutical  Professional Services  Insurance  Retail  Supermarket  Consumer