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AARP Insurance Deductibles "Outrageous"

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Schenectady, NYSophia H (not her real name) is concerned about her AARP insurance. She does not have AARP health insurance, but she does have AARP Delta Dental insurance and feels that she pays too much in premiums for the amount of coverage she has. Sophia is one of many people who were surprised to learn that AARP made royalties off of insurance premiums charged to clients.

AARP Victim"I didn't realize that they [AARP] were making money off the premiums, and yeah, they should make some," Sophia says. "But people who are with AARP are on limited incomes and the cost of the premium is really outrageous in my opinion.

"The reason why I have trouble is that I have a lot of caps in my mouth and if one breaks, it's a $2,000 bill. They will only pay 50 percent. If you go to the dentist and have a filling put in and it falls out within a year or 2, you have to pay for the refill yourself. So you have to pay a high premium and then you have to pay for the retouch. That coverage is not great.

Sophia says that she paid $520.00 for her dental premium in 2007. That same year, she paid 4 times for dental work that was not covered in plan. Those 4 times cost her an extra $250.00. Her 2006 premium was $520.20, but she wound up paying an additional $197.50 for dental work.

"They [AARP] should get some royalties, but that shouldn't make the cost of the premium outrageous. I'm self-employed—I'm an independent contractor—and my income is very, very low. I buy my health insurance. I'm probably almost at the poverty level, in terms of income. To pay these types of premiums on a limited income is difficult. Plus, in addition to what is not covered, you have to pay a $100 deductible on dental work other than cleanings.

"I think that they have a monopoly on dental insurance. Basically, they have you over a barrel. I'm debating right now if I want to get AARP Delta Dental again, because every time I go in the premium goes up. I don't know of any other dental insurance coverage in New York, so I can't compare the premiums. But the out of pocket expenses are high."

Many people were stunned to learn that AARP receives royalties from the premiums it collects. People who use AARP insurance are seniors who are typically on a limited income. Many are retired or work limited hours—they do not have money to throw away on premiums that will not cover them for necessary expenses.

Now, seniors are questioning whether or not AARP really does have their best interests in mind, considering that the company is trusted as an organization that takes care of the needs of seniors. Sadly, some seniors are learning that their insurance does not cover them for nearly as much as they thought it would.



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