Benefits of AARP
American Association of Retired Persons, popularly referred to as AARP, is a non-governmental organization and an interest group based in the United States. It was formed by Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus and is currently managed by the United Health Group. The objective of this organization is to enhance the quality of life of the elderly in the community. It is a non-profit organization which includes people over the age of 50 and provides a wide range of services, benefits, and special products for its members. With over 40 million members, it is believed to be the largest membership organizations in the US. So what are the benefits this organization provides to its members?
1.Insurance and healthcare:
One of the greatest services that AARP provides is the healthcare and insurance benefits for its members. AARP has its foundation in the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA), which was founded by Andrus with the sole intention of ensuring health insurance for teachers. Although, the organization no longer stresses on the retired aspect of its members, it continues to emphasize the need for healthcare and insurance for the aging community. Over 7 million people are covered under the AARP health insurance, drug coverage, and medigap programs. AARP, in itself is not an insurer and does not pay claims. On the other hand it allows other insurance companies to use its brand name to sell policies to its members and obtains a commission just like an insurance agent. In fact, AARP gains a major portion of its income from insurance sales rather than from its membership fees.
AARP, in association with several companies and organizations provides discounts and offers to its members. These benefits or discounts include membership discounts on car rentals, vacation packages, lodging services, cruise services. It also provides special offers to its members for technology-related and gift-related products, pharmacy services, long-term care insurance, and even legal services.
AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity. The Foundation offers several programs for the benefit of its members. These programs are meant to protect the interests of its members, ensure their security, and empower them in their old age. It conducts several programs to help the lower-income aged people to train in jobs and get placements. The Foundation also offers free tax preparation for the lower- and moderate-income members with more emphasis on helping members above the age of 60. Its litigation department works towards protecting the rights of its members who are in critical health, in need of long-term care, or are in consumer or employment situations. There are also several supplementary programs meant to empower the elderly to live an independent life with dignity and purpose.
In addition to these programs meant to empower and help the elderly, AARP also publishes magazines that focus on aging issues. It also produces Radio and Television programs focusing on issues and concepts that are of interest and concern for all Americans who are aged or are fast moving towards the aged group. AARP, besides its income from insurance sales and membership dues, obtains funds for its programs from grants, tax-deductible contributions, and the AARP funds.