Successful Prescription Drug Discount Program Expands to Benefit More Consumers at Point-of-Sale

  • Builds on last year’s move  to directly deliver pharmacy discounts to UnitedHealthcare’s fully insured members at the point-of-sale; consumers already seeing average savings of $130 per eligible prescription in 2019
  • Applies to all new self-funded employer customers, ensuring negotiated prescription plan discounts are passed on to consumers at the point of sale within applicable plan designs
  • Programs strengthen prescription drug adherence by up to 16%, lead to improved patient health

MINNETONKA, Minn. March 12, 2019 – Building on the introduction of the first-of-its-kind point-of-sale discount program, OptumRx and UnitedHealthcare are expanding their innovative consumer point-of-sale prescription drug discount programs to apply to all new employer-sponsored plans, making medications more affordable and improving health outcomes.                                                 

Specifically, for new business proposals beginning January 2020, OptumRx and UnitedHealthcare will only support new employer clients that incorporate point-of-sale discounts to consumers as part of their plan design. This expansion builds on the existing point-of-sale discount programs, announced a year ago and effective January 1, 2019, which will serve more than 9 million consumers this year. Commitments made to support existing clients prior to this date will be grandfathered, including those currently in the sales cycle for January 1, 2020 effective dates. While such plan designs have been previously available to all employer customers, this expansion is expected to accelerate adoption of point-of-sale discounts across all types of commercial business, including self-funded.

Just two months into the year, the existing program has already lowered prescription drug costs for consumers by an average of $130 per eligible prescription. UnitedHealthcare data analytics demonstrate that when consumers do not have a deductible or large out-of-pocket cost, medication adherence improves by between 4 and 16 percent depending on plan design, contributing to better health and reducing total health care costs for clients and the health system overall.

“OptumRx is uniquely able to deploy the broadest range of tools to rein in high drug prices, and this expanded point-of-sale discount program demonstrates our commitment to delivering better prices for consumers,” said John Prince, chief executive officer, OptumRx.

“Patients are seeing concrete benefits from UnitedHealthcare’s groundbreaking point-of-sale discount program, which is just one element in our commitment to help deliver better health, lower costs and a better experience,” said Daniel J. Schumacher, president and chief operating officer of UnitedHealthcare. “Together with employer partners and OptumRx, UnitedHealthcare has taken innovative action, bringing real value to consumers while mitigating the impact of persistent drug price inflation brought on by drug manufacturers affecting consumers’ ability to afford medications and comply with their physician’s treatment plans.”

Existing OptumRx and UnitedHealthcare clients will have the option to adopt these plan designs during contract renewal. Prior to implementing the expansion of this program, OptumRx and UnitedHealthcare have delivered negotiated drug manufacturer rebates and discounts directly to employer clients, who have generally utilized them to either reduce premiums for all members or pass them on at the point of sale.

OptumRx’s efforts to control the high prices of drugs extends beyond the point-of-sale discount program. Through uniquely integrated clinical programs, innovative consumer engagement solutions and engagement with pharmaceutical companies and retail pharmacies, OptumRx improves health outcomes and saves clients and consumers billions of dollars annually.

To learn more about OptumRx’s pharmacy care services, visit

About UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health care company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and helping make the health system work better for everyone. UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. For more information, visit UnitedHealth Group at or follow @UnitedHealthGrp on Twitter.