District of Columbia: Electronic payments required for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan

Effective Jan. 1, 2022, UnitedHealthcare has made changes to its claim payment platform that will eliminate the use of paper checks for claim payments to Community Plan health care professionals in the District of Columbia. This change is part of our efforts to accelerate payments to your practice by moving to digital transactions.

You will need to choose between 2 options for receiving payment from UnitedHealthcare:

1. Automated Clearing House (ACH)/direct deposit: We recommend ACH because it’s the quickest form of payment available and there are no fees for the service. Payments can be routed by both the tax ID number (TIN) and National Provider Identifier (NPI) number level.

  • Enrollment generally takes less than 10 minutes. You will need to provide your current bank account information.
  • If you prefer this payment option, we encourage you to complete your registration as soon as possible. If you do not register for ACH, all payments will automatically default to a virtual card payment on Jan. 1, 2022. Please see below for more information. We cannot hold claim payments while your ACH registration is finalized and your ACH is activated with your financial institution. 

2. Virtual card payment (VCP): If you don’t enroll in ACH, you’ll receive a VCP from Optum Pay. VCPs are electronic payments that use credit card technology to process claim payments. There is no requirement to share bank account information.

  • A 16‐digit, single-use virtual card will be issued for payment of a single claim. You’ll receive a VCP statement in the mail. For quicker access, you can choose to view the VCP statement in Document Library or the Optum Pay portal.
  • Each VCP is issued for the full amount of the claim payment. However, VCPs are subject to additional terms and conditions, including fees, between you and your card service processor.
  • You can enroll in ACH even after receiving a VCP. However, ACH will only apply to future payments and can’t be applied to previous payments made.

Payment information available online

We recommend using one of the following to view the provider remittance advice (PRA) documents for these electronic payments:

  1. Document Library is our secure online repository of reports and claim-related communication in the UnitedHealthcare Provider Portal. PRAs are produced at the time of payment processing and available for you to access the following business day in Document Library.
  2. Optum Pay basic portal has unlimited users and is available to those who enroll in ACH/direct deposit. You can access up to 13 months of payment data, including downloadable PRAs and 835 files.
  3. Optum Pay premium portal is available at no additional cost if you receive VCPs through Optum Pay, or with a 0.5% per payment fee if you choose to enroll without choosing VCPs. Premium portal access has all the features of the basic portal, as well as additional practice management features and data aggregation tools.

While PRAs are currently being mailed, we will be moving to digital-only access in late 2021 and early 2022.


Visit or view our frequently asked questions for more information.

The following states are already effective for electronic payments: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

In Colorado, Georgia and New Jersey, if you do not consent to receive virtual card payments and you don’t want to set up direct deposit, call 877-548-0460 to receive a paper check. If you are an out-of-network provider in Florida, New Mexico, New York or Oregon, and you do not consent to a virtual card payment or you don’t have direct deposit, call 877-548-0460 to receive a paper check.