New to Medicare | AARP® Medicare Plans from UnitedHealthcare®
close hamburger search alert




Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Eligibility

You may be eligible to enroll for Medicare benefits beginning as early as three months before the month you turn 65 and lasting until three months after.

If you enroll during the three months before you turn 65, then your coverage will begin on the first day of your birthday month. If your birthday is the first day of the month, then your coverage will begin on the first day of the month prior to your birthday. 

If you enroll during your birthday month, or during the three months after your birthday month, coverage begins the first day of the month following your enrollment.

Medicare eligibility requirements, enrollment timing and coverage dates are different for people enrolling in Medicare due to a qualifying disability.

Get started

With prescription drug costs on the rise, you may want to consider enrolling in a Medicare Part D plan. But before you do, it's important to understand how Medicare Part D can benefit you.

Visit the Medicare Education section for a helpful Medicare Part D overview. Here, you'll learn about the four Medicare Part D drug payment stages and get tips on how to choose a plan. The PDP Plans Overview page page provides information to help you choose the right level of coverage for your needs.

Get help navigating the Medicare Part D experience with these tools and resources:

Look up prescription drugs

Locate a pharmacy

Enroll in a plan

See if you qualify for Extra Help

Back to top

Who can join AARP® MedicareRx Plans insured through UnitedHealthcare?

You don't need to be an AARP member. If you're eligible for Medicare, you can enroll in one of the AARP MedicareRx Plans.

Back to top

2016 AARP MedicareRx Plans overview

  • AARP MedicareRx Saver Plus (PDP)
    $360 deductible plan. If you don't currently take many prescription drugs, but still want coverage for unexpected health changes, this lower-cost plan may be a good fit for you. This plan covers most commonly-used generic drugs.
  • AARP MedicareRx Preferred (PDP)
    $0 deductible plan.
    If you do take several prescription drugs or fill prescriptions often, this plan could help you save money. This is our most popular plan with a drug list that includes nearly all generic drugs covered by Medicare Part D and most commonly used brand name drugs. With the $0 deductible, your savings could start with the very first prescription you fill.

Learn more about AARP MedicareRx Plans

Back to top

Learn about Medicare Part D enrollment periods

To learn more about Medicare enrollment periods and avoid paying a late-enrollment penalty, visit the Medicare Education section to find out.

Back to top

Benefits of early enrollment

When you turn 65 or otherwise become eligible for Medicare, you can enroll in an AARP MedicareRx Plan insured through UnitedHealthcare, even if enrollment has closed for the year.

In fact, your Initial Enrollment Period begins three months prior to the month you become eligible, and ends three months afterward. You can enroll any time during this seven-month period without penalty. 

  • Enrolling early: Your coverage begins on the first day of the month you become eligible, if you enroll during the prior three months. It's a good idea to enroll at least one month prior to the month you become eligible, so you can begin receiving the benefits of a prescription drug plan as soon as you are eligible.

    If you enroll during the month you become eligible, or during the following three months, your coverage begins the first day of the month of your enrollment.

  • Enrolling late: If you don't join a plan during your Initial Enrollment Period, or you don't have creditable coverage    and decide to join later, you may pay the standard monthly premium plus a penalty of about 1% of the national average premium for each month that you delay enrollment.

    This higher premium will stay with you for as long as you are enrolled in the program.

Enroll now

Back to top

Coverage tiers for AARP MedicareRx Plans

Drugs on your formulary (drug list) are organized into different groups called tiers. Each tier has a different co-pay or co-insurance amount. If your drug is in a more expensive tier, ask your doctor if there is a drug in a lower tier that could work for you and save you money.

    Drug Tiers and Costs

Tier 1: Preferred Generic

Lowest Co-pay

This tier includes lower-cost, commonly used generic drugs. Use Tier 1 drugs for the lowest out-of-pocket costs.

Tier 2: Generic

Low Co-pay

This tier includes most generic drugs. Use Tier 2 drugs, instead of Tier 3 or 4, to help reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

Tier 3: Preferred Brand

Medium Co-pay

This tier includes many common brand name drugs, called preferred brands, and some higher-cost generic drugs. Many Tier 3 drugs have lower-cost options in Tier 1 or 2. Ask your doctor if they could work for you.

Tier 4: Non-Preferred Brand 


This tier includes higher cost generic and brand name drugs. Many Tier 4 drugs have lower-cost options in Tier 1, 2 or 3. Ask your doctor if you can switch to one of these drugs to help reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

Tier 5: Specialty Tier


This tier includes unique and/or very high-cost drugs. You pay a percentage of the total drug cost, called co-insurance.

Back to top

Take advantage of $0 co-pay for Tier 1 and Tier 2 medications, and make the most of your pharmacy benefits. Begin using home delivery with Optum Rx today.

You could pay $0 for the same medication when you use home delivery through OptumRx, your plan's preferred mail service pharmacy1:

  • Pay $0 for a 90-day supply of Tier 1 and Tier 2 medications (includes nearly all generic drugs and most commonly used brand name drugs) for some plans.
  • Contact UnitedHealthcare to find out how much you could save.

And, there's no shipping charge for standard delivery to U.S. addresses, including U.S. territories.

Note: If you are receiving Extra Help from Medicare, your co-pay may be lower or you may have no co-pays.

1Preferred cost sharing is not available for the AARP MedicareRx Preferred (PDP) plan in the following territories: Guam, American Samoa, U. S. Virgin Islands or Northern Mariana Islands.

Back to top

See if you qualify for Extra Help

For people who meet specific income and financial resource limits, Medicare offers help paying for some or all of their Medicare Part D prescription drug plan expenses. If you qualify, you could save an average of $4,000 per year. (Savings average and income limits are based on 2016 plan coverage. Income limits will vary for Hawaii and Alaska.)2

You may qualify for additional help if you:

  • Are entitled to Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and/or;
  • Are enrolled in Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) and;
  • Live in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia and;
  • Are single and have less than $17,655 in annual income/$13,640 in assets OR
  • Are married and have less than $23,895 in annual income/$27,250 in assets.

There is no penalty for applying for Extra Help. If you applied for Extra Help last year and did not qualify, you can reapply this year. If your assets exceed the amounts listed above, you may still be eligible for some Extra Help.

To find out about other programs, you can:

  • Call your state Medicaid agency.
  • See if your state offers a State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program.  If you qualify, you could get help paying for your monthly prescription drug premiums and/or co-pays.
  • Visit the Social Security Administration website for more information. Or call toll-free: 1-800-722-1213, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. TTY users, call: 1-877-486-2048.


Find Medicare Prescription Drug Plans in Your Area

Example: 55105
look up ZIP code


Call UnitedHealthcare toll-free at:
(TTY 711)

Hours: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, 7 days a week

Need help? Chat live with a sales agent.