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UnitedHealth, AARP hit with another lawsuit over co-branded Medigap plans

Periodic Contributor

UnitedHealth, AARP hit with another lawsuit over co-branded Medigap plans

Hello, My wife and I are both AARP members and also are AARP UnitedHealthcare Medigap Plan G subscribers. We are becoming increasingly concerned about AARPs skimming revenue from this plan. Perhaps we are misinformed but we have seen several articles recently (such as this one: It appears to us that AARP has lost its path and focus in putting seniors first over its funding. Please reconsider the huge amounts of money that AARP is collecting from associating with health plans and other services. We think it is a conflict of interest.

Trusted Contributor

AARP car insurance is higher than most car insurance companies, I priced it and my insurance is a lot cheaper than AARP insurance. You would think that people our age would pay less. They are not being fair to us seniors. Their car insurance is a lot higher than other insurance companies. I don't have AARP insurance because they are just too high on their insurance, even their life insurance is too high. I am on a fix income and I can't afford their insurance. It seems as if they would be some what cheaper.

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Honored Social Butterfly


Just some info FYI


Businesses (non-profit & for profit) pay for royalty rights all the time - Brand identity is a way a nonprofit can gain a competitive advantage for volunteers, donations, and recognition over other nonprofits.  It is a way to build a strong non-profit - name recognition, needed revenues for their advocacy work.   Many tax-exempt organizations allow for-profit entities to use the organization’s name or logo to market goods and services.


Brand licensing is when a brand owner licenses the right to their brand assets to a licensee, letting the licensee use their brand for a set period of time, in a set way, within an agreed market. These brand assets can include trademarks, trade names, logos, taglines and anything else that distinguishes the brand’s image.


Now concerning your price concerns on this issue -

For all Medigap plans - there are various ways that policies are rated. Cost of Medigap Policies

Rates for all Medigap plans are also by area because healthcare cost vary by area. 

Medicare has different rate payments to providers depending on the area.  Plan rates are also set based on the risk of those covered - With AARP UHC supplemental (Medigap) policies, I assume, there is a vast pool to spread the risk, unless the plan has been discontinued by Medicare with no new enrollees for that particular Medigap plan, therefore those remaining are getting older, maybe sicker, so rates may rise.  (As an example think of the now D/C Plan F)


The Disclosure

AARP (R) Medicare Supplemental Plans from United Health Care

UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company pays royalty fees to AARP for the use of its intellectual property. These fees are used for the general purposes of AARP.   AARP and its affiliates are not insurers.  

AARP does not employ or endorse agents, brokers or producers.

AARP encourages you to consider your needs when selecting products and does not make product recommendations for individuals.

Please note that each insurer has sole financial responsibility for its products.

You must be an AARP member to enroll in an AARP Medicare Supplement Plan.


BTW, not all members have an AARP UHC Medigap plan - some get their plans from other insurers, some have another brand of Medicare Advantage. 


AARP makes no claim that their member benefits are cheaper.  In fact, I have never found any membership organization to have the cheapest prices for anything.  They are BENEFITS if you want them - not discount programs.


But it does seem that they do have a discount program - AARP (branded) Supplemental Plans from UHC for members of AARP have some sort of a declining discount when eligible - I looked back at some previous post and found this guide to the discount.  I do not know if this is current - the date of the post was 10/2021.

AARP UHC Supplemental plan Enrollment Discount


Since AARP advocacy positions cover all senior matters - not just member matters, getting these royalties brings down the cost of membership and gives them revenues to further their advocacy position. 


I am not advocating AARP or UHC - However, I have to ask -

  • How much would you pay for membership if AARP did not have this other source of revenues? 
  • How much would you donate to cover the millions of dollars AARP spends on the advocacy positions they have for all seniors? Advocacy

Then there is the AARP Foundation - the charitable affiliate.

The for-profit arm is AARP Services, Inc. - maybe this is who you should consult.




It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Periodic Contributor

First, Thank you for the additional explanation and information. I am quite familiar with licensing and branding strategies from my time at several large US corporation with very valuable brands. Again, in my opinion, AARP should not license it's valuable brand and sponsorship to corporations where there is a conflict of interest. Of all of the areas that AARP advocates for seniors, health care and prescription services are likely the largest impact to all of us seniors. By partnering with United HealthCare (UHC) AARP is, in effect, picking a winner to supply Medigap policies. Shouldn't AARP be comparing the quality and price of all Medigap suppliers and advocating for improvements and increased competition between providers?  AARP is in a tenuous position when advocating for improvements in healthcare service quality , benefits, premium costs and in particular the lowering of prescription medications costs to members. 

I don't accept the argument that "they need the money" in order to advocate for us. AARP has over 30 Million seniors as members and that by itself forces politicians to listen to what AARP has to say. I would much rather see AARP shrink its staff to a lower operating cost structure but have a clear and uncompromised position to really fight hard to fix the obviously broken health care market. Anyway, as I said before this is just my opinion and I certainly respect the opinion of others. Thx.

Trusted Contributor

Maybe this is why they are being sued.

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