Alert
Close

AARP holds senators accountable for key bipartisan Medicare vote. Learn more

HIGHLIGHTS

Open
AARP Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy

AARP VETERAN MEMBERSHIP

Military and Veterans Discount

AARP REALPAD

The tablet with free 24/7 customer support. Learn More

CONTESTS AND SWEEPS

You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP Books

Medicare for Dummies book cover

Get the answers you need, from Patricia Barry, AARP's Ask Ms. Medicare

Share Your Thoughts

Reader stories help us fine-tune our education efforts and strengthen our calls for action on issues that matter most to you. We read and learn from every story and may use yours (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire other readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

Most Popular

Viewed

Health Care Fraud and You

Protect Yourself From Useless Medical Discount Plans

 Darren Greenwood/Aurora

Consumers often find that after paying the membership fee, they receive little or nothing in return.

For people who don't have health insurance, a medical discount plan can seem like a way to access care at an affordable price.

But unlike health insurance, medical discount plans don't pay for your health care costs. Instead, after you pay a fee to join the plan, you receive a list of providers who will give a discount for some of their services. Consumers often find that after paying the membership fee, they receive little or nothing in return.

What you should do

• Before paying any money to join a medical discount plan, review the plan's list of providers. If your usual doctor, dentist or pharmacist isn't on the list, and you receive care from them, you'll get no benefit from the money you paid to join the plan.

• Call the plan's providers to find out what discounts may be available. If the plan won't give you a list of providers, shop elsewhere.

• Read the fine print. Be sure you will be able to get a refund if you aren't satisfied.

• Compare all the costs you have to pay — the initial fee, monthly fees and co-payments — with any promised savings. You don't want to be spending more money in order to receive the discount than you are saving from the discount.

• Before purchasing any medical discount plan or health insurance, check with your state insurance commissioner. A company that offers any type of medical coverage must be registered in your state. If the company is not registered, shop elsewhere.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Advertisement

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Walgreens 1 discount membership aarp

Members can earn 50 points per $1 spent on select products at Walgreens.

member benefit aarp hear usa

Members can save 20% on hearing aids with the AARP® Hearing Care Program provided by HearUSA.

AARP membership discount Man trying on eyeglasses at optometrists smiling

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at LensCrafters.

Membership Benefits Discounts Email Genius

Brain boost? Get AARP email for access to memory exercises & more that help you focus.

Advertisement