Everything to Know about AARP’s Medicare Advantage Plans

The American Association of Retired Persons, more commonly known as AARP, is a non-profit organization that aims to “empower people to choose how they live as they age.” The members of AARP are bestowed with several benefits and one of those is insurance. AARP is not an insurance company, but it caters to the unique insurance needs of retirees. Before retirement, these individuals are a part of an organization where health care benefits are provided by employers. Once they retire, they are faced with a tedious task of finding affordable health insurance options. Though AARP doesn’t sell insurance policies, it serves as a one-stop health insurance shopping option for the members’ insurance needs.

What does AARP do?
Seniors who need health insurance plans can find a wide selection to choose from if they sign up for an AARP membership. These insurance products are made available to the members at discounted rates and from top-rated insurance carriers who are financially stable. AARP strives to improve the quality of life of seniors and has founded coalitions worldwide for this very purpose. After retirees lose the health care benefits that accompanied their jobs, AARP makes it easier for them to find affordable health insurance owing to their affiliation with major insurance providers.

AARP-UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans
AARP partners with UnitedHealthcare to offer Medicare Advantage plans to its members and non-members. The Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) offers the same coverage as the Original Medicare plan but provides several additional benefits as well. In fact, the Medicare Advantage plan combines the benefits of Medicare Part A and Part B and even offers extra benefits like prescription medicine coverage or dental care which are not included in the Original Medicare.

AARP health insurance consist of different types of Medicare Advantage plans for you to choose from. The Medicare Advantage plans offered by AARP are as follows:

Coordinated Care Plans
Most of the Medicare Advantage plans are coordinated care plans. Each of these plans has its own network of doctors and hospitals to choose from. Also, these plans may require members to choose a primary care provider from the list AARP provides, whereas certain other plans allow the members to choose their own providers. There are four major types of coordinated care plans. They are:

  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO): Most HMO plans require you to get your health care and services from providers that are in your plan’s network and this includes doctors, other health care providers, and hospitals. In some cases, you might even need to get a referral from your primary care doctor. Certain HMO plans allow you to opt for care outside the network, but it would be costly. Also, prescription medicines are also covered in HMO plans, but you’ll have to confirm with the provider.
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO): With PPO plans, you can pay less if you opt to visit the doctors and hospitals and other health care providers that are included in the plan’s network. The PPO plans offer more flexibility when it involves visiting providers outside the network. Also, with PPO plans, you aren’t required to choose a primary care doctor. If you wish to find a plan that covers prescription medicines, you’ll have to look for a PPO plan that offers the same.
  • Point of Service (POS): If you want the benefits of an HMO plan with more flexibility to see the health care provider of your choice, then POS plans might fit the bill perfectly.
  • Special Needs Plans (SNPs): These Medicare Advantage plans are designed for people with special health care or financial needs. Moreover, these plans include medicine coverage as well. SNPs also include features such as coordination of care, transportation to and from the medical appointments, routine vision and dental coverage, and credits to buy everyday health items. There are four major types of SNPs:
  • Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plans (DSNPs): This plan is meant for people who have both Medicare and Medicaid plans.
  • Chronic Special Needs Plans (CSNPs): This plan is for those living with severe or disabling chronic conditions.
  • Institutional Special Needs Plans (ISNPs): This plan is for people who live in a skilled nursing facility.
  • Institutional-Equivalent Special Needs Plans (IESNPs): This plan caters to those who live in a contracted assisted living facility and require the same kind of care as those residing in a skilled nursing facility.
  • Private Fee-For-Service (PFFS): These plans are made available with and without provider networks. In fact, PFFS plans allow you flexibility in choosing the health care provider or how you decide to pay for your health care. PFFS plans let the member choose any provider in the country that accepts Medicare and the plan’s payment terms and conditions.
  • Medical Savings Account (MSA): These plans combine a high-deductible health plan with a special savings account and do not include prescription medicine coverage. The funds which you receive from Medicare are deposited into a savings account which can be withdrawn to pay for qualified health care expenses.

It is essential to understand that AARP does not sell its own health insurance but collaborates with top-rated health insurance providers like UnitedHealthcare to offer the best health insurance plans for its members.

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