Monday, October 31, 2016

Should I Join AARP? Asking My Readers

At the end of September, I celebrated THAT birthday. You know, the one that gives me the medicare card and makes me "officially" a senior citizen? My first  concern after heading towards sixty five was the medicare equation and other medical decisions. Like many people I know I am happy to be on Medicare, and happy I decided to keep my retiree insurance as my supplemental plan.

Now that the medicare junk mail has mainly subsided (except for some open season information), I am facing daily piles of election junk in the mail (the joins of being a battleground state). A second, equally deep pile has accumulated from good ole AARP.

Now don't get me wrong, I was getting AARP mail before the big day. After all their age limit is now 50, and I am well.....past that. In the past few months however, the piles have increased proportionately.  I receive membership information that includes cards, information about long term insurance, life insurance, medicare supplements and more. All multiple times a month. In fact, if their mailings are any indication, AARP has not gotten the "less paper" memo.

The question of course, is should I join?  Is it worth it for me? Because of my good health insurance, I don't need one of their medicare plans. As a widow with grown children, I need only minimal life insurance at this point.  And while I do look at long term care, I'm a woman with chronic health issues who probably would not be approved at an affordable range, even with AARP.

So what's left?  Coupons and discounts, certainly. I am obviously the queen of both and would love access to any and all. The question is whether they are worth the price of admission and if the travel discounts especially beat AAA. I enjoy reading AARP online, so I expect that I would enjoy what I got in the mail, as well as what I might get via email (although I hope not as much spam as so called snail mail).

There's also the fact that the AARP is a large lobby. My question is whether they lobby enough and who they are "in bed" with. While I appreciate that they lobby on senior issues, from what I have seen the spend a lot of time lobbying for wealthy seniors and do less for the low income amonsgts us. And frankly, I'm involved in the church level and other levels with activism.

I'm sure that there are other issues to consider as well, so I ask you, all who are reading this.  Have you joined AARP?  Will you?  What do you think?

15 comments:

  1. I joined AARP, mostly for their magazine. I do not like their political activity, which is always to the left. I don't use any of their "services" like health insurance, since, like you, I have Medicare and an excellent insurance through my former employer.

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    1. Thanks Terra. I don't see them as being that liberal, I see them as lobbying for all seniors include those without safety nets and the like. I do object to the insurance companies they affiliate with on occasion.

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  2. I, too, like the magazine and the bulletin. Since I'm "left," I like their political activity, too. Sometimes, although infrequently, the AARP travel discount beats the AAA, which I also have.

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  3. I probably won't join because of their Far-Left political activity, unless I find I need one of their benefits.

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    1. interesting. I am a middle of the road independent, but I don't see lobbying for health insurance or against hunger and isolation, especially for seniors to be to the left. I think as seniors we should want to help everyone.

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  4. I joined for a year but found it useless so I didn't renew. YMMV

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    1. I tend to think my view will be the same..

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  5. We did not get anything out of the member ship fee.travel deals are available all over the web. Maybe 10 years ago we did join and had Hartford AARP insurance, both health and auto.Now, the reviews of the Hartford ins. are very very bad I would not use.And health ins. we get through the fed. exchange.No use for AARP.

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  6. I joined at age 65 for the Medicare supplemental health insurance ... it's a great option for those of us who do not enjoy employer retirement health insurance.

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    1. Tom, from everything I have read they have some good insurance options, so I can definitely see joining for those benefits.

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  7. I want to point out that in some areas there are local AARP chapter meetings. We have a very active chapter in Fort Worth, Texas. There is a $7.00 yearly dues which is separate from the national membership. We meet once a month where we have a variety of local speakers. Each meeting has a short social period with coffee and refreshments. The speaker is followed by a brief business meeting. Our group has a social committee that plans group outings and day trips. Pot lucks are held quarterly with special entertainment at Christmas time. We also participate in providing food or school supplies to those in need. I joined the local chapter when I retired. I have made friends in this group and learned other information useful to retirees.You can find the nearest local chapter by looking online.

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  8. I have been reading your blog for a long time, enjoy it immensely, and thought that you were up on "current events" ie: health. Two things about health insurance: because of Obamacare there is no longer any "pre-existing condition extra payment." Once you reach Medicare age--Medicare is a set amount $121 for people just joining it. The supplements are whatever they and the state approve.
    I belong to AARP as I like the magazine and the idea behind AARP--equality for older people---AARP provides free services such as help with taxes.
    butI use Blue Cross for my supplement and another company for medications.
    There are also Medicare Advantage plans--one set rate (much lower than the supp and med plans) that covers Medicare A, B, supps and meds. I don't do it as the one plan in South Carolina isn't supposed to be good.
    The more people who join AARP the more it can do to help people. If it's "liberal" that's because liberals are often the people who work to provide safety nets for all outside of religious orgs.
    As a non-Christian in a very Christian area I appreciate anything secular. Before anybody jumps on me---if you're Christian, and wanted therapy for a particular problem would you want it to have a Jewish or Muslim bent?

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    1. Hi Pia, thanks for stopping by. I do encourage you to go back and read what I wrote. Long term care is NOT covered under ACA guidelines and you can be denied for health conditions or have exorbitant premiums.

      AS for you last comment I'm not sure I understand.

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  9. AARP is about $15 dollars. There is a driving class (costs about %15)for seniors that, once completed, can give you discounts on your car insurance. Yes, you do sometimes just break even, but other perks should help. Try it for one year and decide. I don't know about travel discounts and all, but I think AARP is a good deal.
    pparsimony

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