AARP Medicare Supplement
Caption: AARP Medicare Supplement

AARP Medicare Plans Review

Medical bills inevitably climb as we age. Unfortunately, Medicare alone often isn’t enough to cover these mounting health costs. In fact, one study found that Medicare only covers around 65% of the average senior’s medical bills.

AARP members may be eligible for a Medicare Plan insured through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or an affiliated company. These Medicare Supplement plans are known as Medigap insurance because they fill the coverage gaps when Medicare doesn’t cover all of your medical bills. You can choose between several types of Medicare Supplement plans depending on the coverage you need. AARP Medicare Plans are available in some states to people who are younger than 65 but eligible for Medicare because of end-stage renal disease or disability.

AARP is known for promoting wellness among older Americans, and its Medicare Plans are no exception. We rated AARP Medicare Plans best for customer service in our review of top Medicare Supplement plans.

Pros
  • Plan Selector tool helps you choose the right plan for your needs
  • Extensive network of providers and pharmacies
  • Provider Locator finds in-network specialists in your area
  • Drug Cost Estimator determines medication costs under various plans
  • Underwritten by UnitedHealthcare, the largest healthcare provider in the world

Cons
  • Must be a member of AARP to qualify

How AARP Medicare Plans Work

The government sets rules for Medicare coverage. Part A covers some surgery and hospital costs. Medicare is available at no cost through the federal government for Americans age 65 and older who qualify for Social Security. Part B covers doctor visits and is available through the government for a monthly premium. Both parts A and B are not full coverage plans.

The plans offered through AARP are considered Medicare Parts C and D. Part D is the name given to private prescription drug coverage for people who have Medicare. Part C is private insurance that bundles Parts A and B and often includes Part D. AARP’s Medicare Plans are available in Parts C and D. Both charge a premium to give you access to certain benefits.

When you have both government-sponsored Medicare and private insurance like an AARP Medicare Plan, coordination of benefits rules dictate which insurance company pays first for eligible medical expenses.

Types of AARP Medicare Plans

There are three main types of AARP Medicare Plans you can choose from. These include the Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement and a prescription drug plan.

AARP Medicare Advantage Plans

AARP’s Medicare Advantage Plans are a convenient way to streamline your Medicare coverage. Most of these plans combine Medicare Parts A, B and D coverage in one plan and offer additional benefits.

There are several AARP Medicare Advantage (Part C) Plans to choose from, depending on availability in your area. You may be able to choose from a PPO or HMO plan. These plans offer the advantages of a Medicare Part A or B plan, including hospital stays, doctor visits and prescription drug coverage.

Many plans also include additional features like Renew Active, a fitness benefit program offering gym memberships, enrichment classes and more at no added cost.

AARP Medicare Supplement Plans

AARP Medicare Supplement Plans are ideal for those whose Medicare Part A and B plans are inadequate. These plans provide additional coverage to reduce your copays and deductibles toward doctor visits, hospital stays and other medical expenses. All Medicare Supplement Plans, or Medigap plans, have the same benefits set by the government. Your AARP Supplement Plan will have the same benefits as a Medicare Supplement Plan from any company.

AARP Medicare Supplement Plans receive additional support through At Your Best, a program from UnitedHealthcare. This program offers discount programs, gym memberships, wellness coaching and a 24/7 nurse line. You’ll also receive discounts on hearing aids and screenings.

AARP Medicare Prescription Drug Plans

Medicare Part A and B do not cover prescription drugs. AARP Medicare Prescription Drug Plans can ease some of the financial burdens of medication costs. You are probably eligible for a Prescription Drug Plan if you have Medicare or both Medicare and a Medicare Supplement Plan. AARP Medicare Prescription Drug Plans and similar Medigap plans only cover specific prescriptions, so be sure to check the plan’s drug list to see if the medications you need are included.

AARP Medicare Plan Options
Plan Plan
Benefits*
Features*
AARP Medicare Advantage
(Part C)
– $0 doctor visit copay
– $0 copay for most prescriptions
– Free dental, vision and hearing exams
– Save 40% on OTC medications
– Unlimited Virtual Visits with healthcare providers
– Renew Active fitness program
– Assistance using your plan
AARP Medicare Supplement – Part A coinsurance for hospital costs
– Part B coinsurance or copayment for doctor visits
– Cost of blood transfusions (first 3 pints)
– Hospice / respite care coinsurance or copayment
– At Your Best health program
– Discounts on hearing aids and screenings from HearUSA
– Vision discounts from EyeMed
– May include Part A or B deductibles
AARP Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) – Savings on prescription drugs, with some copays as low as $0
– Preferred network of pharmacies saves you even more money
– Mail-order pharmacy with home delivery
*Features and benefits available in most plans

AARP Medicare Plan Costs

For any of AARP’s Medicare Plans, you’ll pay a monthly premium plus copays and other out-of-pocket expenses. Premiums and copays depend on several factors, including the type of plan and your ZIP code. You must also be a member of AARP to qualify for an AARP Medicare Plan through UnitedHealthcare. An annual AARP membership is currently $16.

How to Buy AARP Medicare Plans

The AARP Medicare Plan website has helpful Plan Selector tools to walk you through choosing a plan based on your needs and current Medicare coverage. You can choose a plan and the start date, then pay your first premium online or request a mailed invoice. You’ll pay your monthly premium via the same method you make your initial payment.

AARP Medicare Plan Complaints

AARP Medicare Plans receive mostly positive reviews online. ConsumersAdvocate gives the plans 4.5 out of 5 stars and rates the plans especially high for services, reputation, customer experience and financial strength. ConsumerAffairs reviewers grade these plans with 3.6 out of 5 stars. Keep in mind that many of the complaints are about limits of coverage set by the government, which is the same from any Medicare Supplement Plan provider. The Better Business Bureau gives both UnitedHealth Group and AARP an A+ rating.

AARP Medicare Plans Q&A

  • Does AARP offer any Medicare Special Needs Plans?

    Yes, AARP offers insurance to those who qualify to receive care through a contracted network of providers. Drug coverage is included in these plans.

  • Are there ways to save money on prescription drugs with an AARP Part D plan?

    Yes. You can often lower your out-of-pocket expenses by choosing a generic drug and by ordering at least a 3-month supply through a mail-order pharmacy.

  • How can I learn more about Medicare and how AARP Medicare Plans can help?

    The AARP Medicare Plan website has a wide selection of resources to help you learn more about Medicare and find out if an AARP Medicare Plan is right for you.

  • What happens if I don’t renew my Medicare?

    In order to remain eligible for AARP Medicare plans, you must be enrolled in federal medicare.

  • I still have questions about AARP Medicare Plans. Who can I talk to?

    You can chat live with a company representative through their website.

Conclusion

AARP is known for advocacy for people over the age of 50 and for providing many opportunities to save money on services and products. AARP’s membership cost is only $16 to take advantage of these savings as well as the AARP Medicare Plans. Deciding which plan to apply for is simplified with tools available on the website.

AARP Medicare Supplement Reviews

Recent Reviews

April 30 2020 5:50PM

We have been AARP United Healthcare Medicare customers since 2011 and have paid them a total of $30,092.41 in premiums during this time. Here is our issue with UHC. After being together for 20 years my wife and I were married in 2013. She kept the married name she was using at the time.

This past February my wife decided to change from the name she was using since being in elementary school to her birth name, which meant she needed to correct her name on her social security card, drivers license, investment account, credit cards, checking, and savings accounts. You know, the really important accounts. Lastly, she needed to get her name corrected on the AARP UHC Medicare ID card.

They requested I send a copy of our marriage license with a note stated what we wanted her name to be change to for the correction. After a month, I called. The representative said they couldn't locate the information I sent. So I resent a copy of the marriage license, Florida Drivers License, and birth certificate as requested. 

Again, didn't hear from them so after a month I called. The rep did find the documents she said, but that the marriage license didn't have the corrected name on it. I told her that was because we were married 7 years ago and my wife recently her name. No, the birth certificate (the Holy Grail for "what is your real name") wasn't good enough, nor the Florida drivers license.

What was needed? The rep said we needed to go to the Courthouse and change the name on the marriage license. This was about the time that I lost it. I commented that my wife didn't have a problem signing up for insurance using her nominal name and now that she wishes to change it to her legal name there is a problem? Didn't make a lot of sense to me.

Talked to a rep today and she commented that they sent my wife a letter on March 16th stated what they needed. We never received this letter. I checked emails... nothing received. This rep stated they needed a "document", but I couldn't get what "document" they needed. She said that a passport would do it. So my wife found her passport of twenty years ago with her legal, birth name and married last name. But, no, the rep said it needed to state her present married name. Mind you, the passport was from 20 years ago, and my wife and I were married 7 years ago. 

Obviously, this is an outlier. But give me a break. I told the rep that my wife has her insurance card and providers know who she is so at the end of the year we can cancel our insurance and go to another company and have the correct, legal name on her insurance card. Unbelievable.

Carl A.
Palm Harbor, FL
April 06 2020 8:18PM

At the peak of this GLOBAL PANDEMIC, AARP Medicare Advantage cancelled my policy. They have bothered me for YEARS about my address and accused me of moving and threatened to terminate my policy. Several times I have contacted them and stated that I have NOT moved and, in fact I called them on March 19, told the representative I HAVE NEVER MOVED and still reside in the home where my insurance agent wrote my policy.

The representative noted my call, apologized for the misunderstanding, and stated that I was GOOD and that the cancellation threat was a mistake. Fast forward to this morning when my pharmacy asked me for my updated insurance info as my insurance info was now "incorrect". So I called AARP Medicare Advantage and, eventually was told that they decided, (after 5 years of being covered under the same policy) that I live in a county where my policy is not valid.

Finally, an explanation of THEIR problem for which they have accused me for 5 years. So, the way they informed me that my policy was invalid was cancelling it and letting me find out via my pharmacy when, all of a sudden I have no insurance coverage. I am attempting to contact my states insurance commissioner If I catch this virus and have no insurance I will make it my business to expose these people for the horrible, money grubbing, lazy "humans" that they are.

Patrick C.
DESERT SHORES, CA
February 13 2020 1:03AM

Actually I'm not sure that the AARP Medicare Supplement (administer by UnitedHealth) is bad; I just can't get on the site to find out. I am a new member (a month and a half) and have spent hours and hours and scores of phone calls to try to get online to see information about the plan and my claims. No one has ever called me back.

I have several work order numbers, but no one to make any effort to help me. I'm told that other folks have the same problem. Today I spoke to someone, and I asked if there was an appeal number or address for me to help solve my problem, and the woman with whom I spoke said, "I don't know. Maybe something on the back of your card." What kind of training is that? Money is automatically taken from my checking account for the past two months, but I have no recourse.

Barbara W.
Jersey City, NJ
January 19 2020 8:31PM

My Medicare advantage plan was no longer offered in my area last year. After looking at all Medicare advantage plans available in my area, UnitedHealthCare AARP MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN PPO was the highest ranked of all 27 plans in my area, so I did some research…

Here is what I like: I had a policy, as stated above, which was no longer offered in my area. I have this policy for three years. What troubles me what is the plan would only pay 50% of the total cost should I have to be in the hospital, add some more “esteemed” hospitals in my area, even though it was a PPO plan My current Medicare Advantage Plan with UHC AARP PPO allows me to go to that more esteemed hospital, though it is out of network.

UHC also offers comprehensive dental with $1500 per year… Most advantage plans do not cover this, or they offer it as an additional feature to pay for UHC provides members, such as me, to purchase $40 worth of approved medical devices and/or medication over-the-counter UHC provides me the ability to speak to a telehealth doctor through my iPad streaming at no copayment for me, and they use for five of the main services It would be difficult for me to envision anyone saying anything negative about this plan.

Robert C.
Tulsa, OK
December 12 2019 5:37PM

United Health Care denied coverage for me at a skilled nursing facility after 4 days I can not walk up stairs which I have to do to get into my home they do not care instead of trying to help me they told me it was open enrollment and I could change insurance.

Rhonda M.
Houston, TX
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