AARP (formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons) is a non-government affiliated interest group founded in 1958. The organization advocates on the behalf of its members, who are individuals 50 years or older, and is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the United States. AARP currently has over 37 million members. AARP Services Inc., an affiliated AARP for-profit organization, offers a variety of insurance products including Medicare supplemental health insurance (Medigap), discounts on prescriptions, long-term care insurance, and life insurance, among others. AARP Services Inc. is not an insurance company, instead it licenses its name to its insurance partners such as UnitedHealth Group and Aetna for insurance marketing.
Medicare Insurance Products from AARP
AARP offers three types of Medicare plans from UnitedHealthcare or one of its affiliates1:
AARP® MedicareComplete® Medicare Advantage
All plans include urgent care, worldwide emergency coverage, and a 24-hr nurse hotline. Most plans include prescription drug coverage. Most plans have no additional monthly premium beyond what you already pay for Part B. You can purchase HMO (Health Maintenance Organization), POS (Point-of-Service), or PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) AARP Medicare Advantage plans.
Medicare Supplement (Medigap)
Plan availability and rates vary by your state/area. Your Medigap plan is accepted by any provider that accepts Medicare patients, and your insurer cannot cancel your coverage or increase your premium based on your health status or how many claims you file. You can also combine your Medigap plan with a Medicare prescription drug plan2.
Medicare Prescription Drug Plans/Part D Plans
All plans include thousands of prescription drugs in their formularies but they offer slightly different coverage and drug lists. These plans have a pharmacy network with over 65,000 locations as well as a Preferred Mail Service Pharmacy. There are three categories of Medicare prescription drug plans that are available for purchase this year 3:
- 2014 AARP MedicareRx Saver Plus (PDP): $310 annual deductible, includes most generic drugs covered by Medicare Part D and many commonly used brand name drugs. If you enter the coverage gap for any drug tier you pay no more than 72% of generic drug total cost or 47.5% of brand name drug total cost.
- 2014 AARP MedicareRx Preferred (PDP): $0 annual deductible, includes almost all generic drugs covered by Medicare Part D and most commonly used brand name drugs. If you enter the coverage gap for any drug tier you pay no more than 72% of generic drug total cost or 47.5% of brand name drug total cost. The Preferred Mail Service Pharmacy and Preferred Retail Pharmacy Network is not available for this plan in Guam, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, or US Virgin Islands.
- 2014 AARP MedicareRx Enhanced (PDP): $0 annual deductible, includes almost 94% of drugs covered by Medicare Part D. You pay no more than 72% of generic drug total cost or 47.5% of brand name drug total cost for any drug tier during the coverage gap. This plan covers all tier 1 and 2 drugs as well as some tier 3, 4, and 5 drugs during the coverage gap. AARP notes that this plan offers the best AARP MedicareRx coverage with a more extensive drug list.