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AARP MedicareRx Preferred  - CA  (See Reviews of this Plan from Other Regions)
Overall Rating: 

What to expect:
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  Choice of Drugs
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MDP Member: Rnhallett Date Rated: 7/11/2018 3:15:39 PM

This has got to be the worst plan I've ever chosen. It's confusing: the worst part of the confusion comes with how to find a prescription. The plan uses two names: Walgreen's and Optum Rx. Nowhere on the insurance card does it mention that the longer-term, mail in prescriptions have to be filed through Optum Rx. It took me a long time to find this out. Optum's website is almost completely unusable, when it's even working. My wife was just diagnosed with asthma, and come to find out that NONE of the medications that she could be prescribed are covered by Optum/Walgreens. What kind of insurance company is that? Charges for medications are somewhat arbitrary. Phone "help" is really useless, in some cases, possibly harmful. Example: when I was researching asthma inhalers, the person I was talking with told me that one inhaler was covered, she thought. I looked it up, and it turns out that the medication she mentioned was specifically for Chron's Disease. AARGH!!!! Another time, my doctor wanted me to take a certain medication with a 150mg dose twice a day. They denied that prescription, but did allow me a 300mg tablet with the instructions of taking it once a day. (I simply cut that one in half). The website is terrible, when it works. I can't wait to drop this plan.

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MDP Member: rjasdfiii Date Rated: 10/16/2017 7:25:36 PM

Give me a coloscopy any day over dealing with OptumRX. The web site is slow, confusing, inconsistent, and sometimes incorrect. Delivery of drugs is flaky. Customer service? I got someone once out of maybe 5 tries. Tracking of an order is difficult, missing, or at least confusing. If the drugs do come, they are cheap and taste fine.

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MDP Member: woodbourne Date Rated: 1/21/2017 11:40:25 AM

I cannot imagine a worse company to deal with. Hidden from public view, they use OptumRX a captive pharmacy benefit manager. That means that when you have prescriptions filled under this plan there is a financial incentive for the PBM to deny the claim. Think about it for a minute. If the claim is denied then United Healthcare saves money. This is a clear conflict of interest and should be illegal. It is unquestionably unethical. So, my experience is that they consistently fail to deliver prescriptions on time. Things that I can get in one day from my local pharmacy take three weeks to get from OptumRX. They NEVER EVER tell us when there is a change in what they cover. We have to discover this for ourselves, every time. When my next opportunity comes around I'll be heading away from these guys. They are simply awful.

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MDP Member: jacque Date Rated: 4/24/2016 12:08:41 PM

I have been trying to get a list of my prescriptions such as date, insurance paid, I paid, name of prescription, etc, etc. I have tried via phone and been put on hold 45 min to 1 hour and finally hung up. I am trying to get help with my prescriptions. I am 76 years of age and on SS. There are agencies to help me, but I cannot get all of the information for 2015 and 2016 listing name of prescription, what insurance paid, month and date paid, what part I paid, etc. I cannot keep this up with your company. Where can I find this information online. I have tried to no avail to contact your company regarding the information I require. Jacqueline Nino, 559-273-6707 (cell), or 559-981-5481 (home). My next step is to call the California Insurance Regulator since numerous requests to your company are never answered.

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MDP Member: Stokdell Date Rated: 9/29/2015 12:56:12 AM

Been using the same meds for 5 years, all generic, using their network pharmacies, but my premium continues to rise every year. Got a new formulary list for 2016, and they will not now cover one of the meds.

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MDP Member: linn Date Rated: 9/8/2015 4:30:21 PM

Very unhappy with the RX Plan Perfered coverage. They wouldn't cover my Moexephril and sent me a list to give to my doctor Benazepril or Lisinopril both Tier 1. Humm, who's treating the patient here?

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MDP Member: paulrossman Date Rated: 3/4/2015 9:42:46 PM

If you can possibly avoid choosing the AARP-sponsored United HealthCare Plans for Part D coverage, do so! I switched to AARP MedicareRx Preferred Plan from Blue Shield of California in January 2015. Big mistake. I did so because the AARP Medicare Rx monthly premium was less expensive. The medication coverage appeared to the same; but it is not. (Full disclosure: this plan is administered by United HealthCare. I worked as a physician reviewer for UHC some years ago, and was quite amazed at how often the company tried to pay as little as possible for supposed 'member benefits.' Really, I should have known better than to consider signing up for a UHC pharmacy plan.) Brief history: I take generic Dexedrine ER capsules made by CorePharma or Lineage Therapeutics. This particular generic appears far more effective than other generics, and, not surprising, costs more. A ninety-day supply is expensive. The Blue Shield of California Plan contributed about $575 toward the cost, and the co-pay was $45. The AARP Medicare Rx plan lists generic Dexedrine in its Formulary. You have to obtain a Prior Authorization for coverage. The doctor took care of that. I then go to a network pharmacy to fill the prescription. Here's what happened. For this 'covered' medication, the cost at a hospital-based discount pharmacy is $625.26. The member co-pay is $95. AARP MedicareRx insurance contributes $2.56. No, it is not typo. It's $2.56! Sounds unbelievable, doesn't it? For a higher dosage generic Dexedrine ER capsule, the discount pharmacy also charges $625.26 for #90. The co-pay is $95 and AARP MedicareRx United HealthCare Plan contributes $27.45. I have made a formal appeal for reimbursement, and even requested a 'formulary exception'. Odd, isn't it? A Request for a Formulary Exception for a medication that is covered in the formulary. Actually, the request was approved, but the reimbursement was still the same: $2.56. You know, if you read through the UHC 2015 Welcome Guide there are user-friendly explanations of the steps to follow if you experience problems with drug coverage. The documents reads as a "we really want to help you get the coverage you deserve" manual. But it's not. It's United HealthCare doing what they have always done best: denying benefit coverage. When I asked, "How is it that Blue of Shield of California actually covers this medication and UHC does not--when the medication is included in both formalities--no explanation was offered. Once more: Have you ever heard of a Part D pharmacy insurance plan that requires a member co-pay of $95.00, while the insurance pays $2.56? I thought so. I may be stuck with the AARP MedicareRx for this year, but you can avoid it. Because so much money is involved, I will probably have to pursue this to a hearing with an administrative judge. Hours and hours of wasted time. Well, forewarned is forearmed.

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MDP Member: Dernetz Date Rated: 2/11/2015 4:02:39 PM

United Health Care operates the AARP Preferred Medicare Rx plan. I have been a member of this plan for several years. The AARP PDP Medicare Rx plan has only one preferred pharmacy, OptumRX which is an online pharmacy, also owned by United Health Care. Not surprisingly, the AARP PDP plan provides no other preferred pharmacies within my commute area and none at all that are also mail-order besides OptumRx. OptumRx has never been great at customer service, pricing, or pharmacopeia, especially for generic drugs. Recently, it's online services have become impossible. It typically takes more than 48 hours for the online account to recognize a doctor's order for prescriptions. It takes several more days for the prescription to be processed, and then you wait for the postal service to deliver. Usually, a new prescription from the doctor's office directly to Optum Rx will take a week or more for delivery, and then I have had some orders completely lost in the Optum Rx system, requiring me to chase after the prescription and ask my doctor to resubmit. This is unacceptable to me, and so I have closed my Optum Rx account. I am left with only the option of using a non-preferred pharmacy, and that requires me to pay higher co-pay fees under the AARP PDP program, or changing Medicare Rx plans. Com October, I intend to change my plan from AARP PDP.

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MDP Member: msc545 Date Rated: 12/22/2014 6:05:41 AM

Poor drug choice. Had to fight with them to change tier on a very much needed drug that I could not afford.

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MDP Member: Savered Date Rated: 11/7/2014 7:07:20 PM

The problem with AARP MedicareRx is their customer service, and they're lack of knowledge, so they just tell you whatever their opinion is, which is often incorrect. I had one agent tell me that if I had many drug prescriptions that it would be cheaper to go with the Preferred plan rather than the Saver Plus plan. Well, the Saver Plus plan has lower prices, and the premium is half as much as the Preferred plan, so the $320 deductible is more than offset with the larger number of prescriptions, especially if some are $115 with the Preferred plan and $60 with the Saver Plus plan. Agents should not be giving out incorrect information like this. (All my prescription drugs are covered by both plans, by the way.)

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MDP Member: dianne95619 Date Rated: 11/4/2014 1:24:12 PM

Got this plan because we trusted AARP. We have actually used it very little. It seems to be cheaper to use our non-preferred provider pharmacy (CVS) than our preferred pharmacy (Walgreens). The mail order pharmacy, however, is great as far as price is concerned. But it is a real hassle trying to transfer prescriptions to them.

My rating for this plan:
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MDP Member: SV Crone Date Rated: 10/21/2014 1:31:26 AM

I've been on AARP Rx about a year. I've been on just about every company's drug plan over the past 20 years, so I have some basis for comparison. I am currently on over a dozen ongoing prescriptions. The drug formulary was about the same as other Medicare part D plans. I had little or no dealings with AARP or United Healthcare. I like having Walgreens as the preferred pharmacy. The mail-order pharmacy is OptumRx. Most of my dealings were with them. Customer service was OK, but I wish I hadn't had to talk to them them so much. I had to ditch all my old Rx's and have my various doctors write new ones at the start of the year. Confusion reigned! I'm tired of all the phone calls reminding me that an Rx is due for renewal - there's no way to opt out of this annoyance. Saving the worst for last, OptumRx's online site has the WORST user interface I've seen. Among other things, they're the only pharmacy site I've ever used that can't alert your doctor electronically when you need a renewal. They want you to print out a form and take it to your doctor's office. Please, at least get into the 1990's if you can't make it into the 21st century!

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MDP Member: mkdouglas Date Rated: 10/25/2010 7:33:37 PM

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MDP Member: Glad Date Rated: 2/17/2010 2:46:34 PM

I have found no trouble with this plan and appreciate the large formulary.

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MDP Member: Hooligan Date Rated: 12/31/2007 10:04:18 PM

This is a dog of a plan. AARP customer Service is wrong most of the time or doesn't know the facts or misleading. I am continually barraged with AARP requests for membership. I am disappointed in AARP because I thought they were an advocate for seniors -- guess not. This whole national medicare program sucks because (1) it is too confusing to compare plans and it doesn't make sense that there should be this many plans. (2) Pricing sucks the guts out of any senior. The idea that the nation (or is it the drug corporations?) is burying alive those who need the most help is terrible. I would like to know why this plan was set up the way it was. Let's have a little transparency here. Obama will bring us that transparency; Clinton will not. This whole idea of AARP's that they have 'partnered with Walgreens' is a bunch of hooey. Walgreen's is just as screwed up and doesn't show that it knows anything about AARP except billing. To have to pay $750 for one drug [I kid you not!] on the AARP Plan and then $715 for the usual price should be investigated. My thought is that Walgreen's is bilking the nation. Maybe the whole Medicare Plan D is. Subscriber beware!

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MDP Member: aallbbyy Date Rated: 11/7/2007 2:11:22 PM

Was happy with United Health Care. But then, the scuzzy AARP took over the marketing and receives a kick back on the plan costs. AARP does not pay taxes even though operating as a for profit corporation. Monies received by AARP are used extensively to promote their management's agenda by purchasing politicians who may not agree with your values.

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MDP Member: barbarian Date Rated: 1/10/2007 10:40:16 PM

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