Administered by UnitedHealthcare®

UC Medicare Choice is a Medicare Advantage PPO plan that generally replaces your Medicare coverage. When you enroll in this plan, you agree to let UnitedHealthcare manage your Medicare benefits.

See updated information about coverage for COVID tests.

New for 2024

  • Prescription Drug Part D TrOOP (true out-of-pocket) maximums will increase from $7,400 to $8,000 for 2024.
  • A provision of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will enhance coverage such that Medicare participants who reach the TrOOP, or catastrophic coverage phase, will no longer be responsible for any Part D out-of-pocket drug costs. Copayments for certain services will increase slightly for low-income subsidy-eligible Medicare enrollees.
  • For the 2024 plan year, state-licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) and Marriage Family and Child Counseling (MFCC) Therapists may submit claims directly to UnitedHealthcare for reimbursement.

How the plan works

UC Medicare Choice delivers all the benefits of Original Medicare (Parts A and B),  includes prescription drug coverage (Part D), and offers additional benefits beyond Medicare.

Because UC Medicare Choice is a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan, you have access to any provider, in-network or out-of-network, at the same cost to you, as long as providers accept the plan and have not opted out of or been excluded from Medicare. Please note: Kaiser providers are not covered outside of the Kaiser plan.

UC Medicare Choice also offers additional benefits and features, including:

  • Ability to seek necessary care from specialists without prior authorization from your primary care provider
  • Gym memberships through Renew Active
  • Annual in-home preventive care visit at no cost to member
  • Benefits after a hospital stay, including transportation and meals

If you need medical care or prescription medication while you are traveling outside the United States, you’ll need to pay for services and request reimbursement using the direct member reimbursement process. Medical claims will be paid at 100% of billed charges minus a $20 copayment per office visit, or a $250 copayment per admission as an inpatient. For prescription drug costs incurred during international travel, you’ll have a copayment of $25 for a 30 day supply and $50 for a 30+ day supply. Please see plan documents or call UnitedHealthcare for details.

Best fit for you if:

  • You want lower premium and out-of-pocket costs
  • You want the flexibility to see providers both in and out-of-network

Plan costs

2024 retiree plan costs chart »

Typical out-of-pocket costs

  • Office visit/urgent care visit: $20 (preventive care has no charge)
  • Emergency room: $65
  • Hospital stay: $250
  • Prescription drugs: $5 generic; $25 brand name; $40 non-formulary

For UC Blue & Gold members: Transitioning to UC Medicare Choice

UC Medicare Choice is considered the “partner plan” of UC Blue & Gold HMO. That means that if you are a retiree enrolled in UC Blue & Gold HMO, you’ll be transferred into UC Medicare Choice when you turn 65, once Medicare has approved your enrollment form.

To learn more about UC Medicare Choice, visit  

Moving outside California?

UC offers a Medicare Coordinator Program (administered by Via Benefits) to retirees and to families whose members are all eligible for or enrolled in Medicare and live in a state outside California.