How the AARP Works Against, Not For, Seniors (Guest: Chris Jacobs)

Published March 16, 2023
Most people recognized the acronym AARP. It’s for the American Association of Retired Persons. But few realize that rather than represent the interests of seniors, AARP acts to promote the interests of the health insurance industry at the expense of retirees and their pocketbooks. 
Chris Jacobs, founder of Juniper Research, has been investigating the AARP’s cozy deals with health insurance companies for years. Jacobs joins the podcast to discuss his new analysis of the AARP as well as the organization’s support of anti-Medicare policies. He also highlights the hidden surcharges the AARP collects off Medigap policies it promotes.
Jacob’s new analysis, which can be found here, found that the AARP collected $627.2 million in surplus fees that were secretly tacked on to health insurance policies AARP promoted for the United Health Group. The fees comprise 69 percent of the AARP’s revenue. Not surprisingly, the AARP supports policies such as drug price controls contained in the recent Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that work more to the benefit of insurers than policy holders.
In the podcast, host AnneMarie Schieber and Jacobs discuss:
1) How the IRA reduced Medicare spending by more than $250 billion. The cut comes at the expense of a position the AARP purports to favor.
2) How insurance companies benefit from the IRA, which AARP supported.
3) The arrangement AARP has with United Health and the surcharges that are tacked on to Medigap policies which are not fully disclosed to policy holders.
4) How to turn this cronyism around.