Is AARP good for seniors?



Are you thinking about joining AARP? Maybe you received a note in the mail inviting you to join when you turned 55?

Should you?

Allegedly, the AARP advocates for seniors and especially for Social Security recipients.  I’ve been with them since I turned 55  (I am 68 now), but honestly, I have seen no evidence.

What about the benefits?  Their car insurance is way way higher than you can get elsewhere, and you accrue substantial savings taking your insurance business elsewhere.  I can get a quote on my 2016 Toyota Yaris (full coverage) for a significant savings anywhere but through AARP.

Now, that is not to say all benefits are expensive. Ceridwen and I have both our cell phones through AARP Consumer Cellular. We get really good service with really good smart phones.

On the other hand, both of us have been enrolled in AARP Medicare Rx Plus (administered by United Healthcare).  I’ve had a good experience with my plan, but the company denied Ceridwen her Armour Thyroid and her Tramadol, both of which she has taken for over 15 years.  Armour Thyroid is not in there formulary. They said that only an 8 day supply of the Tramadol could be filled.  So, she took her business to Costco Pharmacy. Over 2021 she shelled out $1,088 for these two medications.

In December Medcare assigned her to a different company.  The new company had no qualms about giving her a 30 day supply of Tramadol, but stated that the Armour Thyroid was not in their formulary, and so they only paid for one month. BUT – they also said that a physicians note of appeal could bring them around.  So our physician told them that Ceridwen is allergic to other synthetic thyroid medications, and so they covered it. Each medication costs her $1.35 each month.

We’ve sent a letter to United Healthcare, demanding a refund of $1,088. No answer yet. She has filed a complaint with AARP, so we’re waiting on a reaction.

Stay tuned. Think twice, no three times, about joining AARP.