should I drop aarp?

goldyJune 23, 2010

I have a heart condition and only go to the doctors about three times a year,I pay aarp $110.00 a month for premiums.Should I drop aarp and just pay the balance on what they bill me?How does it really work?

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jkom51

AARP doesn't sell insurance. They license their name to insurance companies who sell you a policy. Carriers often make changes to the insurance products they sell to new customers, and as a result there is NO ONE who could tell you definitively whether your policy is worthwhile for you, unless they had a copy of your policy to read the 'fine print.'

I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but honestly, every person's health and financial circumstances are unique. Insurance is for risk mitigation. Determining how much risk you are willing to take on yourself, is not a question anyone on an anonymous Net forum can truthfully answer.

You are looking for an easy free answer, and there is none. I suggest you look for "elder care services" in your area and see if there is a consumer advocate or senior care manager who can assist you. These people are usually free, but it may take some searching to find them.

Best of luck to you.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 2:18PM
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shambo

Are you talking about the AARP supplemental insurance? That's what helps pay for expenses above & beyond what Medicare will cover. Or do you have another insurance product from AARP?

But no matter what, your decision should NOT be based on your health right now. As you get older, your health condition may change, and, unfortunately, usually for the worse. That's why adequate insurance is necessary. Trying to get insurance after you've had a serious health setback will be difficult. Of course, the new federal health care provisions might kick in by then. But you never know.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 2:19PM
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shambo

JKOM is right about how AARP handles the insurance products they advertise. For example, the AARP car insurance is really from the Hartford Group.

And JKOM is definitely right about getting advice for your particular circumstances from an online forum. No one can really answer your questions, but we can give you some avenues of thought and consideration. You need to talk to a real human being to whom you can explain your unique circumstances before making any kind of insurance decision.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 4:22PM
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goldy

I thought I had aarp for my insurance.I have been with them almost twenty years.Each time I go to the doctor they ask who are you insured by and I say "aarp" I have never seen any other name.I guess I better leave "well enough' alone and keep paying and fined another way to save.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 9:58PM
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vala55

If it is your supplemental I wouldn't cancel it. My husband's surgery ran over $100,000, I would have hated to pay the supplemental on a figure like that. It could break you. I have blue cross blue shield and it is expensive, but I don't begrudge one penny of the premium. when my husband worked at Boeing I thought we had blue cross blue shield, but found out years later, it was Boeing insurance. They were not licensed to handle insurance, so BC and BS was the administrator, but it was still Boeing's.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 10:29PM
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shambo

Goldy, you should have some sort of card for your health insurance. Check it and find out what company really does the insuring. Do the same for any health insurance bills you get. If necessary, call the contact numbers found on the card and the statements. Between the cards and the bills, you should be able to figure out exactly what you've got. In this case I would say that ignorance is not bliss. Health coverage is too important to "leave well enough alone." You need some solid information.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 10:59PM
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goldy

I do have a health card and it says"aarp' I have had the same card and number since 1965.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 11:38AM
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jkom51

In that case, call the phone number they give and talk to customer service. Get the name of the actual insurer, and ask for a copy of your policy. They will send you a hard copy by mail so that you, or whoever you find to help, can read the 'fine print' and determine if your financial circumstances warrant dropping the insurance.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 6:59PM
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asolo

Yo Goldy. Listen to jkom51. Figure out what you have. Do it today. Maybe find some senior-service agency locally who may have people who can explain to you what you have. These are things you need to know.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 10:53PM
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shambo

Please do as we have suggested. Call the contact number on your card. Also, you should be getting some sort of billing statement. Look where you keep your paid bills and find a statement. That would have some specific information.

My mother had AARP supplemental insurance. Whenever she saw a doctor or was hospitalized, she gave her Medicare information and her AARP Health Care Options card. But the actual insurance was from United Healthcare Insurance Company. Each year they sent a payment coupon book. I'm looking at hers right now. It says, "United Healthcare Insurance Company; Payment coupons for your AARP branded health insurance plan(s)." Also, everytime she used her Medicare & AARP cards, she received a "Summary of Benefits" from United Healthcare listing what medical services were provided, when, where, by whom, what Medicare paid, and what AARP paid. You might have some of these and not realize that they're from AARP's health care provider.

If you can't find anything, try calling AARP's main number (1800-424-3410) and explain your confusion. Someone should be able to look up your account from your membership number and tell you exactly what kind of health insurance you have.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 11:20PM
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goldy

Thanks for taking the time with me.Will do what you said.Will call contact number and get it from them.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 9:08AM
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mmh1

My parents had supplemental insurance with AARP (it was United Healthcare Insurance as shambo pointed out).
They are in New York and paid about $5700 a year. Isn't that way too expensive? It makes me wonder if this could possibly be the same thing that Goldy gets for $110.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 7:47PM
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goldy

At the time I signed up "1995' aarp had three coversI I took the no frills ,My policy covers me anywhere in the USA I pay no copay and all doctor bills are paid.Only one hitch.They used to pay all hospital stays but now if you stay overnite you have a copay of $800.00.So when ever I have to go to the hospital my doctor makes sure I don't spend the night.That is the first overnight stay.If you have to go and stay again that year you don't pay again.I must say when I first got my insurace it was only $69.00.Things have away of going up.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 10:39PM
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vala55

My BC/BS supplemental is much cheaper than that and I don't pay a dime except for the premiums. I pay $156 a month, which is $1,872. a year worth every penny of it.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 5:11PM
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shambo

I checked out the AARP website. Now they've got separate plans for those 50-64 years old and a different set of plans for 65 and older. You could click on the options and get information about what is avaiable now. But you might have a very good older plan that is no longer available to new members.

Since you're an existing member, you might be able to switch plans within AARP without creating a problem. But since you've got a pre-exisiting heart condition, you probably don't want to drop AARP's coverage or try to shop around for another insurer.

Here is a link that might be useful: AARP Health Insurance Plans

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 3:16PM
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jkom51

I will reiterate again, unless someone has actually read a copy of your policy there is NO WAY to determine if the policy is worth it financially to you.

I'm sorry you are in a tight financial situation. But your situation is not an issue which a group of strangers on the Net making assumptions that cannot be validated, can offer definitive advice to you.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 1:15PM
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