United healthcare details transition to Optum Rx Plan

I received the notification below that detaisl their switch to OptumRx around the country.  For my clients, Large Groups will transition in April, the Southeast in September, and Oxford Clients in October.  See below for more details:

We are pleased to provide you with an update on the migration of pharmacy benefit services to OptumRx – UnitedHealth Group’s in-house pharmacy benefit manager.

By unifying all of our pharmacy benefit services in-house, UnitedHealthcare will:

  • Integrate information and data to yield more meaningful insight into care and cost-saving opportunities.
  • Become the resource for all member benefit needs, creating more opportunities to guide members toward making overall better health decisions.
  • Leverage our enterprise-wide $32 billion in annual drug spend to bring customers competitive and affordable pharmacy benefits.

The first transition wave is less than two months away – on January 1, 2013. Outlined below is a high-level overview of the comprehensive strategy and communication plan we have developed to facilitate a smooth transition.


Over the next 12 months, customers will transition to OptumRx on a regional basis. Please note the schedule and dates below are subject to change. As our highest priority is to provide quality pharmacy benefits and superior service, we’ll make adjustments as necessary to enhance the overall client and member experience.

1/1/2013 – UnitedHealth Group employees and select clients
4/1/2013 – West Region and Northeast Region
6/1/2013 – Central Region
7/1/2013 – National Account clients across all regions
9/1/2013 – Southeast Region
10/1/2013 – Oxford, Sierra, River Valley, UnitedHealth One, Neighborhood Health Partnership; some South Florida business; UHC International, including Cross Borders and Global Solutions
1/1/2014 – Approximately 200,000 UnitedHealth One members
NOTE Student Resources business will transition throughout 2013


As communicated during our recent OptumRx Transition Webinar session, we’ve engaged the full resources of UnitedHealth Group to prepare for a smooth and successful migration.

OptumRx is committed to staffing appropriately and will develop the appropriate resources to be fully functional prior to the transition. Additionally, we are transitioning our own employee base first, about 140,000 members. This will allow us to quickly address any issues and modify our plan, if necessary, to provide an optimal experience for our customers.

We are implementing multiple phases of testing – including an independent third party to validate our readiness. We’ve also created a command center as a central point of contact to support our internal teams in addressing pharmacy and medical benefit issues or questions.


It’s important to note that prescription drug lists, benefit plan designs, specialty pharmacy and clinical programs will continue to be managed by UnitedHealth Group. These essential pharmacy benefit elements will not require any action on the part of our customers. We will simply transition this information to OptumRx. Additionally, members will have access to more than 64,000 retail network pharmacies.


We will take the actions needed to keep you informed from start to finish. Links to these communications are included below for your reference.

Additionally, we’ve developed a Frequently Asked Questions document to assist you in answering questions and educating customers on our enhanced capabilities.


  • Key Account and Small Group customers will receive an email or postcard about 45 days prior to their transition, confirming their transition date and reminding them of planned member communications. A Frequently Asked Questions document (same as above) will be included with this communication. National Accounts and Public Sector customers will receive transition information and updates via their UnitedHealthcare sales representative.
  • An employee newsletter article template and employee email template with transition messaging will be included for customer use with employees, if they choose.


  • We’ll mail a letter (mail and non-mail service versions) 35 days prior to the transition, educating members on what to expect, directing them to look for their new ID card, and providing answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Members enrolled in Medco’s Worry Free Fill (auto-fill) program will receive a letter in this packet, confirming the program will end upon their move to OptumRx. Information on how to enroll in the Hassle-Free FillSM automatic refill program through OptumRx will be included.
  • Members will receive their new ID card 1-2 weeks prior to their transition date.
  • We’ll send targeted communications around 30 days prior to the transition, informing impacted members of specific changes (i.e. if they utilize Medco’s Mobile App or their prescription will not transfer, etc.). More information on this is included in the enclosed Frequently Asked Questions document.


We will continue to keep you updated on a regular basis throughout the transition. In the meantime, should you have any questions, please contact your UnitedHealthcare account representative.