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Healthline only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
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Optum Store and Healthline are owned by RVO Health. However, Optum Rx is not owned by RVO Health or affiliated with Healthline.
Most people spend plenty of time online for work and leisure, and with the rise of telehealth, they’re now getting healthcare virtually, too. So, whether you’re a recent virtual telehealth convert or you prefer to meet with a doctor in person, getting your prescriptions online is easier than ever.
Many online pharmacies also offer convenient delivery services and the ability to manage your medications from an app or online dashboard.
Online pharmacies, like Optum Rx, do all that, but without the typical costs of brick-and-mortar operations, they’re able to cut costs and pass them onto you, the consumer.
But with so many online medication services out there, it can be tough to figure out which one to put your trust in, though. Below, we take a closer look at the online pharmacy Optum Rx to give you an idea of what to expect when going virtual.
Optum Rx was founded in 2011 and is a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, a healthcare and health insurance company founded in 1977.
Optum Rx is the prescription drug administrator for several insurance plans, but it isn’t easy to pin down a complete list of insurers that work with the virtual pharmacy company. For people without insurance, people looking to purchase health-related items not typically covered by insurance, or people looking to use their FSA/HSA card, Optum Store is also an option.
Optum Rx calls itself a “pharmacy care services company.” In addition to helping clients manage prescription medication benefits, it also fills prescriptions via an extensive network of pharmacies and provides home delivery services. Standard shipping for home delivery is free.
Optum Rx also has a specialty pharmacy for supporting folks with complex medication needs and in-person infusion facilities for people requiring infusion therapies.
However, it is worth noting that in December 2022, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning letter was issued to Optum’s infusion services branch regarding dirty conditions in an Arizona-based infusion site.
Recently, the brand launched a Price Edge tool designed to automatically apply the best available prescription drug pricing for consumers. This comes on the heels of a 2022 Ohio settlement regarding overcharging claims that ultimately resulted in Optum Rx agreeing to pay out $15 million.
How it works
To use Optum Rx services, you’ll need a compatible insurance plan — typically, this will be a plan with your employer or school — and a member ID card from your insurance company. Users will then have the option to sign up as individuals or caregivers. If you sign up as a caregiver for a family member, you can easily manage their prescriptions via the online portal.
When reviewing services like Optum Rx, we prioritize the following:
- Customer service: What kind of service can people expect from the company? Is shipping free? What do users say about the quality of the customer service they received?
- Features: What kinds of features can customers expect from a service like Optum Rx? Does the company take insurance? Are there tools available for customers to compare pricing?
- Customer reviews: One of the most important parts of our review process is looking through hundreds of customer reviews to better understand their personal experiences with a service like Optum Rx.
- convenient and free home delivery
- works with many partner pharmacies, including well-known retail chains
- ability to manage your prescriptions online or through an app
- the company claims to be committed to affordable pricing
- standard shipping is free but can take up to 10 business days to arrive
- customer complaints about the website being difficult to use
- some negative reviews regarding customer service
Optum Rx works directly with your insurance plan, so pricing depends on your insurance benefits and coverage.
To get an idea of prescription drug costs through Optum Rx, you can use the Optum Store medication search function to find and compare medication pricing without insurance.
Here are a few pricing examples for generic medications from the Optum Store without insurance:
- Sumatriptan (generic Imitrex): an abortive medication for migraine, $22 for two packs of nine 100-mg tablets
- Atorvastatin (generic Lipitor): a cholesterol-lowering drug, $33 for a 180-day supply of 40-mg pills
- Generic hormonal birth control pills: starting at $10 per month, including a free consultation
- Finasteride (generic Propecia): a drug for hair loss, $21 for a 180-day supply of 5-mg tablets
When you fill a prescription with Optum Rx, you can choose to get it delivered to your door or pick it up from a partner pharmacy in person. Standard shipping is free, but you can also pay extra for express or overnight shipping.
Because the prescription ordering process for Optum Rx is behind a login wall, it’s difficult to share out exact details and may also vary based on your location.
If you don’t have insurance, you can still order some medications through the Optum Store, which fills prescription and nonprescription products.
Ordering from the Optum Store involves finding your medication through the search bar. The Optum Store will then communicate with your healthcare professional or pharmacy to get your prescription, fill it, and deliver it. Medications are also shipped in discreet packaging to maintain your privacy.
If you don’t already have a prescription through your usual doctor, you can connect with a healthcare professional through a virtual care visit that costs $55. The cost may be even less if you have UHC insurance. The Optum Store also offers virtual mental health care visits, starting at $29 for the first month.
Some prescriptions, like those needed for birth control or Viagra, only require you to complete a quick, free questionnaire and, in some cases, a quick telehealth visit. A qualified healthcare professional reviews your answers and provides you with a prescription if they deem it safe and appropriate.
|Optum Rx||Optum Store|
|Standard shipping (up to 10 business days)||free||free for orders $75+|
$5.99 for orders under $75
$19.99 for shipping to Alaska and Hawaii
|Expedited shipping||$6 (2 business days)||$9.99|
|Next-day shipping||$12.50 (next business day)||—|
|Returns||prescriptions are nonreturnable||accepts returns within 45 days of purchase on unopened, unused items — except prescriptions and various medical devices|
Optum Rx does not currently have a Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. The BBB complaints and reviews for Optum Rx link to the brand’s parent company, and most have to do with the insurance services and not the online pharmacy itself.
That said, negative reviews, specifically about Optum Rx, note issues with getting prescriptions filled and having trouble receiving quality customer service. Some customers also say that the service fails to send updates when medications are out of stock or delayed. Many customers also complain about delivery delays.
Elsewhere online, the ratings for Optum Rx are fair. At time of publication, Consumer Affairs lists a rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars for the service. Those who have positive things to say about Optum Rx appreciate the home delivery and say refilling prescriptions is easy. Most negative reviews reiterate poor customer service and difficulties with the website.
You may want to consider using Optum Rx if your prescription drug plan offers medication management through the platform and you’re familiar with navigating similar online websites.
It’s not a solution for people without insurance. However, if you don’t have drug coverage, you can use the Optum Store for your prescription drug needs.
What is Optum Rx?
Optum Rx is the prescription drug administrator for several health insurance plans. The brand delivers pharmacy services, including medication delivery, to clients through an online portal. Optum Rx offers free standard delivery on prescription medications.
Is Optum Rx owned by UnitedHealthcare?
Both Optum Rx and UnitedHealthcare (UHC) are subsidiaries of UnitedHealth Group, a healthcare and health insurance company.
What is a HealthSafe ID?
A HealthSafe ID is a type of sign-in access that lets you sign into several portals with the same login, including Optum Rx. You need an insurance plan card to get a HealthSafe ID.
Does the Optum Store take insurance?
Yes, but you can also purchase products without insurance. Additionally, at the moment, the Optum Store only takes UHC insurance.
What carrier does Optum Rx use?
Optum Rx delivers prescriptions by mail using USPS First Class Mail.
Optum Rx is an online pharmacy service that you’ll likely only use if your health insurance plan is compatible with the service. If you don’t have insurance (or a compatible insurance provider) and want to take advantage of online pharmacy services, consider the Optum Store for your generic prescription medication and nonprescription needs.
At first glance, the convenience of an online pharmacy seems like a no-brainer. Still, it’s important to point out that there are a number of negative reviews for Optum Rx, especially regarding customer service. That said, some people don’t mind a bit of extra wait time if it means skipping a trip to the pharmacy.