AARP, formerly the American Association of Retired Persons, is an entity older Americans are likely familiar with. aarp is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization whose mission is to empower people to choose how to live no matter their age. As part of AARP’s operations, it lobbies lawmakers to protect the health and independence of America’s aging population.
AARP’s primary focus is to help Americans age 50 and older continue to live their best lives, and to help them do so in part by offering its members access to carefully selected benefits from outside companies.
In a nutshell, AARP Services, Inc. – an arm of aarp – examines and then nurtures relationships with companies so that aarp members have available products that can help or enrich their lives. main products include health care policies and long-term care products, as well as pharmacy services. An extensive list of other products is also available, including life insurance, auto and home insurance, technology services, a brand-name credit card, and travel and leisure discounts.
insurance products available to aarp members
aarp is not an insurance company, but it makes brand-name coverage that it has reviewed available to its members. While insurance products are sold by third parties, such as Hartford and UnitedHealthcare, AARP Services maintains quality control of options that have the AARP name attached. unitedhealthcare makes available the aarp branded medicare advantage as well as aarp health insurance supplements.
The policies, services and benefits that bear the AARP name are designed to meet the needs of the older Americans they serve. Currently, AARP’s standard membership is $16 annually, whether you join or renew. a reduced rate of $12 is offered for those who automatically renew and free membership is offered for spouse or partner.
aarp medicare plans
aarp makes several medicare plans available to members and nonmembers. all are supplied by unitedhealthcare, a subsidiary of healthcare giant unitedhealth group. In general, to apply for Medicare coverage, one must be a resident of the United States. citizen or permanent resident age 65 or older, though there are exceptions for those who are under age 65 and have a qualifying disability or terminal rental illness.
aarp medicare advantage plans from unitedhealthcare are a part c plan, which means it combines medicare part a (hospital stays) and medicare part b (doctor visits). Unlike Original Medicare, the government benefit Americans receive when they turn 65, Part C plans are run by a private company and often include Part D (prescription drug coverage) as well as Medicare coverage. routine vision, hearing, dental, and fitness services that are not covered by original medicare. You can learn more about choosing a Medicare Advantage plan here.
the aarp medicare advantage plan is not available in alaska, delaware, maryland, michigan, mississippi, montana, wyoming or the united states. territories.
aarp medicare rx is a medicare part d plan, or a medicare prescription drug plan, used in conjunction with an original medicare plan or an advantage plan that does not include prescription drug coverage. aarp has an online calculator that will allow you to estimate your drug costs and see what plans are available in your area.
aarp’s medicare supplemental, or medigap, policy can be used by those who are not enrolled in a medicare advantage program to reduce medicare copays, coinsurance and deductibles. medigap policies generally don’t cover dental, vision, or long-term care.
aarp health insurance review
aarp is not an insurance company, but has had a relationship with unitedhealthcare for more than 20 years to help aarp members find reasonable health care coverage to fill in the gaps that original medicare may leave.
How does unitedhealthcare stand out from other health insurance providers? that’s the question insure.com asks current policyholders each year for its best survey of health insurance companies of more than 2,400 consumers. We surveyed policyholders from the 15 largest health insurance providers, including unitedhealthcare, which offers AARP-branded health insurance plans.
In our 2020 survey, 373 unitedhealthcare members gave us their opinion of the company they had chosen as their health care provider. Compared to other high-performing health insurance providers, UnitedHealthcare (UHC) was ranked 13th. 3.5 stars.
unitedhealthcare received its highest individual rating factor ranking of 10th for the ease of use of its website and apps. other rankings include 11th in claims handling, 13th in price and 14th in customer service. while the ratings were on the bottom, the scores were still decent and only the price fell below the 80 mark at 78.28 (by price). The majority of respondents, 91%, said they planned to renew with UHC. so while the coverage may not be perfect, its policyholders found it good enough to keep the policy going.
the website and the app are winners
Our baby boomers and beyond surveyed policyholders (ages 55 and older), unitedhealthcare fared even better in the rankings, with an overall result of 7th place and a score of 84.35, which gives it a four-star rating. its best place in the ranking was third, again for ease of use of the website and apps.
penny gusner, senior consumer analyst at insure.com, explored the uhc website and found that the simple design makes buying a plan easy. There are helpful resources for information on enrollment, plan types, and more detailed information about Medicare. uhc gives consumers not only a way to shop, but also the knowledge to be an informed shopper.
The app you can put on your mobile devices can help you find network doctors, clinics, and hospitals in your area, as well as review doctor reviews and ratings. another advantage is the ability to speak with a doctor by video 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So that your ID or claims are not lost, you can store and view them in the app. You have the ability to check account balances through the app, as well as manage your prescriptions and refills.
One of the reasons consumers are so happy with the app is that it allows you to stay on top of medical costs by having the ability to get cost estimates for common procedures, view your own copay, deductible and out of pocket expenses.
financial strength of unitedhealthcare
Before purchasing any type of insurance, we recommend that you check your financial strength. You don’t want to pay premiums to a company that isn’t financially stable enough to pay any claims you may have in the future.
a. m. better assigned unitedhealthcare an (excellent) rating and its long-term outlook is positive. this should ensure that unitedhealthcare has the financial strength to pay claims to consumers who purchase its policies. Knowing this should give you peace of mind when paying your premiums if you choose them as your health care carrier.
complaints are few, a good sign
Insurance company complaint rates can be found on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) website. The naic’s median complaint rate is always 1.00. This means that half of the insurers have a claims ratio of less than 1.00 and the other half have a ratio of more than 1.00. Basically, numbers less than 1.00 are better with fewer complaints than the median, and numbers greater than 1.00 have more complaints than the median.
For medicare supplemental insurance, unitedhealthcare (naic# 79413) had a complaint rate of 0.39 in 2019, which is good news. for all medicare supplemental coverage, they received 56 complaints, of which medicare advantage only received seven. It is not surprising that the main reason for a complaint is the denial of the claim and then an unsatisfactory offer or settlement, since these tend to be the main complaints that health insurance providers receive. in our survey, unitedhealthcare actually received its best score, 84.92, in handling claims. With our oldest policyholders surveyed, those 55 and older, scores were even better for claims, scoring 88.91.
sample of comments from those who said they had the advantage of medicare with uhc in our consumer review survey: