If you are researching senior health plan choices, you may want to compare AARP senior health insurance to other available options. But don’t expect the comparison to simple. There are three several types of AARP insurance for seniors.
For our purposes, we will look at plan choices for those that qualify for AARP membership. You can join AARP at age 50 and there are plans available when you first become eligible for membership and plans specifically for people with Medicare.
AARP insurance for those age 50 to 64
AARP members who are under 65 and not yet eligible for Medicare have two senior health plan choices. Members in this age range that are already enrolled in Medicare due to a disability will want to avoid the following options and instead consider AARP senior health insurance for those members with Medicare.
AARP Essential Premier Health Insurance is underwritten by Aetna and is major medical insurance that is custom-designed for AARP members age 50-64. If affordable, major medical insurance is your best choice for comprehensive coverage. When comparing AARP Essential Premier Insurance to other major medical policies, it is important to not only look at the monthly premium, but rather the benefits included in each plan. Value cannot be determined by only considering the premium.
AARP Hospital Indemnity Insurance is underwritten by United Healthcare. Hospital indemnity insurance is characterized as having a schedule of benefits. For instance, the policy will pay a flat fee for each overnight stay in a hospital. Plans often include predetermined benefit amounts for surgery, emergency room and outpatient procedures. Often plans will include discounts on additional value added services, such as, dental, vision and prescription drug discounts.
Choose an indemnity policy if a major medical policy is unaffordable or you are looking for some supplemental coverage. Keep in mind that if you only have an indemnity policy, you will have some financial exposure should you require many types of care.
AARP senior health insurance for members who are enrolled in Medicare
If you are enrolled in Medicare the previous two choices will not be suitable for you. When looking at senior health plan choices, you will normally be choosing between a Medicare supplement (Medigap) or a Medicare Advantage plan.
AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance is underwritten by United Healthcare. Comparing an AARP supplement to other companies is simple. Medicare supplements are standardized plans and will include the same coverage no matter which companies you are comparing. For instance, the only difference between AARP Medicare supplement Plan N and Mutual of Omaha Plan N will be the price and the service you receive after the sale.
A Medicare supplement will fill the gaps left by Medicare. You are essentially prepaying for your care and will have little or no out-of-pocket expense for covered services. You will also need to purchase a separate Part D drug plan. When looking at a supplement as one of your senior health plan choices, ask to get historical data on rate stability. Knowing that your premium is not going to have erratic increases can give you some peace of mind.
AARP MedicareComplete is a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) that is underwritten by United Healthcare. A Medicare Advantage plan is not a Medicare supplement, but rather, another way to receive your Medicare benefits. A private insurance company contracts with CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid) to administer your Medicare. Advantage plans will often include Part D drug coverage. Advantage plans are offered on an annual basis and can change from year to year.
With an Advantage plan like AARP MedicareComplete, you will be responsible for co-pays, coinsurance and deductibles, but will generally receive additional benefits beyond traditional Medicare. Benefits may include dental, vision, hearing and gym memberships.
Researching senior health plans
The Medicare website can be a great resource to get general information and find links to insurance company websites. Shopping online is a time-saving way to compare plans and request information. You can also do it the old fashioned way and sit down with an insurance agent to compare senior health plans.
No matter which method that you use to get information on health plans, it may be worth you time to look at AARP senior health insurance options.