I am VERY unhappy with the huge increase in the cost of AARP United Healthcare Supplemental insurance. I chose this insurance because it carries the AARP name. In fact, providers do NOT recognize the insurance I have if I refer to it as United Healthcare Supplemental. AARP is the name this coverage is known by. In 2016 I paid just under $149 per month. In 2022 I am paying over $228 per month. The difference represents a huge increase in cost. My fixed income has definitely NOT increased by the same percentage.
I have written to AARP a number of times about this and have never received a reply. Why doesn't AARP advocate on behalf of seniors who chose this insurance coverage because of the AARP branding and are experiencing unreasonable and basically ridiculous increases in the cost of that coverage? What arrangement does AARP have with United Healthcare? If AARP as an organization is benefitting from its connection with United Healthcare, why aren't AARP members who have an AARP Supplemental policy sharing in those benefits?
I am not a representative of AARP.org but I can give you some info with links to answer your questions.
The disclosure on the AARP UHC Supplemental Insurance
As you can read - AARP.org has nothing to do with the design or pricing of any insurance product that bears their logo.
It use to be that you had to be a member of AARP to have access to the AARP UHC Supplemental plan. I assume that is still the case but don't know for sure.
AARP actually has nothing to do with the actual design or cost of their branded Medicare Supplemental plan (Medigap) - It is up to the Feds and the States to determine plan design and rating / premium setting for all Medigap plans.
Medicare.gov The Cost of Medigap policies
The (3) ways of rating Medigap plans affect people in different way - as you can see from the link above - (2) types are age related and the other (community rated) has to do with the overall cost of healthcare and who is in the pool.
I believe most, maybe all, of the AARP UHC Medicare Supplemental plans are community rated type. Some of these AARP UHC Supplemental plans, maybe all, have a declining discount built into the premium at the start. So early on your premium maybe lower but then as the discount declines the premium gets higher + there is also medical inflation that is also added in too as any other plan. So, after several years depending upon how these conditions affect you and your plan - your premiums will escalate - of course, some years more than others.
All basic benefit designs of Medigap plans ALL look the same - they are set at the Federal level - same benefits depending upon the "alphabet" one which one chooses.
Example: insurance company #1 has the SAME Medigap plan design of Insurance company # 2 for a Medigap Plan G - so the ONLY difference is the premiums which each charge based on their rating methodology and their covered pool.
The declining discount which UHC offers on some, maybe all, of their AARP branded supplemental plans is something that is specific to them on their rate setting. There may also be other benefits that could be offered by specific insurance companies which try to entice one to "buy me" but unless these are set in contract, they could easily disappear from a Medigap plan as many seniors saw years ago with the Silver Sneakers program was severed from their Medigap plan.
ALL Supplemental plan premiums will get higher and higher as time goes by - how much and how fast - is basically like any other insurance - based on medical use & inflation. Traditional Medicare is also influenced by this too - Your Part B premium is based on usage of the program. A beneficiary's Part B premiums represent 25% of the cost of the whole Part B program - the other 75% comes from our government's General Fund.
Each [senior] person has to decide on their own the best route for their healthcare coverage - many people choose a Medicare Advantage plan instead of Traditional Medicare with a Medigap plan. Others may have Traditional Medicare WITHOUT a Medigap but that does leave them open to financial liabiliy for their out-of-pocket cost.
Others have such low income that they are dual eligible and have joint coverage with Medicare and Medicaid.
As far as providers recognizing a Medigap plan - they don't actually have to because if a doc takes Medicare assignment, your claim is automatically sent to your Medigap insurer by CMS when your claim is processed. The provider has little, if any, contact at all with a Medigap insurer. Tha's probably why they don't recognize their specific names.
It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna