We got little or no guidance about dental insurance in 2011. The optional plan we had under the spouse's coverage was not available upon her retirement. I enrolled in the only plan that I could find (google) in Virginia. A couple of years later, I suddenly (who knows why or how) found out that AARP carries a plan, same company administers. This one is about $1,000 per year more expensive but it also has a much higher "annual maximum" -- $2,500 instead of $1,500 - something like that. I would like to have had a lot more "help" (information) at the time about picking dental insurance in retirement.
I just finished researching for a better alternative for AARP. And I think I have found it. IT's called America Strong. Their are various companies trying to replace AARP, since the Affordable Healthcare Act was pushed by AARP. Several of these companies have decided to combine forces into America Strong. Generation America was one of those companies. Their website is https://www.americastrong.com/ I have since joined it and it looks really good. My AARP membership runs out if March of 2015. I will compare one against the other over the next few months. I think that TIAA as well as it's members should really stay as far away from AARP as possible. Please look into this company and decide for yourself.
All, we appreciate you coming onto the community and sharing your opinions and feelings about a wide variety of topics. I do want to point your attention to our Code of Conduct, though, as the type of conversation on this thread is not permitted.
According to the Code of Conduct, disparaging language about third parties (such as AARP) is not permitted and may be edited or deleted. If further posts are added to this thread that are deemed in violation of the Code, they will be removed.
I hope Your kidding, I don't see any disparaging comments above, just the truth. So what your saying it is ok to say just nice things about a third party but any negative things are taboo. I think your comments are disparaging to the members who wrote very dignified responses and are a bold attack on the membership views. Maybe you should attach the code of conduct to the positive statement above. I have not said anything in this reply that is disparaging to a third party. How about getting Generation Strong and/or other companies involved in TIAA, not just AARP all the time. I will be shocked if you publish this reply. This a forum for discussion, granted one must be dignified with their responses but to allow only positive statements is not what America is about.
Thanks canthony for your comments! Truth is kind of hard from time to time. My main concern was to give other members an alternative to the company that's come into question. I'll not mention the Company's name, I don't want to be disparaging it again. Therefore, what I'm about to say will not be linked to any company, just general, factual, comments. This company intends to generalize all of it's members into it's own interpretation of what all the members want and need. And then goes to Congress and demands that we receive what they think we either want or need, without asking us if we want or need such and such. Kind of like George Bush when he stated that one of his campaign promises was to, oh sorry, I almost became disparaging again, sorry. It's hard not being able to speak the truth, no matter which side of the fence you're on. I'll try to be better, I promise. But, when a Company expects to receive over $1 Billion due to it's support for certain legislation and then expects it's members to roll over and say thank you for your thoughtfulness, thanks for supporting the greatest takeover of one of the finest medical industries in the world for power and greed, not the freedom of choice for it's citizens. You notice I didn't mention the organization who's taking over this industry, I am getting better. It's kind of hard to not be upset and not want to help others find ways to express our displease with said company and then seek alternatives. This does two things, it gives the other members a choice. It also tells said company that if it doesn't think about what it has done, maybe in years to come, it will be looking into why it has less members. Which is a good thing, because it will know why members left, searching for another company that represented them better. Now, I know that you are trying to do your job as the Community Manager, and I'm not trying to be disparaging to you! But, I looked up the word disparaging and it says, and I quote "
/dɪˈspærɪdʒ/ http://dictionary.reference.com/help/luna/IPA_pron_key.html Show Spelled [dih-spar-ij] http://dictionary.reference.com/help/luna/Spell_pron_key.html Show IPA
Have been an AARP member for many years, and have found much of their information to be very helpful. Also as someone who is losing their employer sponsored health insurance before age 65 the ACA has been a life saver.
I’m pleased you have found AARP helpful. Can you share with TIAA why you are losing your employer sponsored health insurance without disparaging anyone? Also, sorry but I do not know what ACA stands for.
Someone tell me if this is incorrect information, but isn't it:
111th Congress, 2009–2010. Text as of Aug 25, 2010 (Passed Congress/Enrolled Bill).
H.R. 3590 (111th): Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
111th Congress, 2009–2010.
Text as of Aug 25, 2010 (Passed Congress/Enrolled Bill).
ACA means Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. If you take AARP literally, you will probably be disappointed, I get a lot of mail from them, stating their position, or asking me to buy life insurance or such. To me it's just a point of information, that's all. I don't actively participate to such nonsense.
You need to be smart. I use AARP to get a discount on my cell plan, and I did get discounted prescription glasses, just by showing my membership card. Plus there are a lot of discounts for car rentals and such. Stick to the money savers, and file the propaganda away as I do, in the trash basket. At least the mail they send contributes to reducing the US Post Office's deficit.
I would think that their life Insurance business will sky rocket. I agree, one needs to be smart and do what is best for them in this day.
puzzled regarding the life insurance skyrocketing comment. Life insurance lost me when my spouse and I were just leaving graduate school (in New York City). The representative took us out to lunch (in Greenwich Village). The sales person focused totally on me (male) with no mention at all of selling life insurance to may spouse. At the time her employer (church) was paying her $7,200 per year with full health insurance benefits Blue Cross/Blue Shield while I was making scarcely more than $5,000 per year (two years) as nurse's aide in a psychiatric hospital. My response was to decline. Life insurance that my spouse is not good enough for - I also am not good enough for it. These days we are "self-insured."
I have to congratulate you on sacrificing may things through life, to now become self insured. My kids don’t see it that way and go on expensive vacations, big home, new cars, boat, etc and don’t give a hoot about life insurance. We were like you and now, thank God, are self insured. I guess it was my job to teach them, but it did fall on deaf ears. Maybe they have the right idea.
Good friend of mine who is in the life insurance business told me demographics will make life insurance skyrocket. That’s my only reason for the comment. Some people agree, some people don’t.
Would like to make two points: (1) My son is going thru a divorce and NY state law says he and his ex are required to carry $100K life insurance, as part of the separation agreement; (2) I carried life insurance until my retirement nest egg was equivalent to my life insurance, in that case I only carried $35k of whole life and term, plus 2.5 times my annual salary from my employer - you might say cancelling that policy saved me a lot of money which I added to my retirement kitty.
Life insurance, like auto insurance and other forms of insurance are a necessary evil, however as a good friend of mine told me once (he was an insurance broker): If an insurance company has to payout more than half of the premiums it takes in, it is losing money.
So my take is, whenever you can afford it, take the least amount of insurance, for instance put $1000 deductibles on your car, etc.
I always wanted to be worth more alive than dead. Your first point makes me wary. I can only guess what each is going to have on their mind. I’m sure it isn’t going to be,” Oh, I hope I die first so my Ex. Can buy a new car” In the past couple of weeks, a life insurance company has been running an ad on TV. t shows a relatively young looking father, maybe in his fifties, with a sling on his arm caused by some sort of fall etc. Here comes the Insurance salesman with the wife handing the father a pen and a life insurance policy for him to sign. He signs and the wife is sooo happy along with the two grown children, “who are still living at home no doubt” saying we feel so much more secure now. The guy just hurt his arm! What an insult to men and women. I guess I am getting we-bit off the track on the original subject AARP. Thanks for your non disparaging comment.
Interesting perspectives in the book "Things Money Can't Buy" which I have not finished reading.
Just remembered that as a retiree (beginning 2009 July 1) I continued (no premium for me) employee Life Insurance which initially was my base pay - at age 70 (this August) it decreases from that initial figure but "never" disappears completely. My non-profit prior employer does this for all who retire from there (rather than leaving to go work for a different organization). My spouse (or other survivor) just has to notify the organization of my death in retirement.
ACA is Affordable Care Act, sometime referred to as ObamaCare. I left work at age 62 1/2. Under COBRA law I can remain on my employer's health plan for up to 18 months (by paying the monthly premium myself), which means I would be about a year short of 65, when I will be eligible for Medicare. I cover my wife under my plan as well. The premium for the both of us under my employer plan, even with high deductible is about $1,300/month. (We live in Maine and Maine seems to have high health insurance rates). My wife had a kidney transplant several years ago, and now takes several prescription medication, which she will need to take for the rest of her life, some of these prescriptions are rather expensive. Normal retail cost of her prescriptions are about $65,000 per year. No private insurance company would sell us an individual policy, to cover us until we become eligible for Medicare. Under ACA medical history is not considered. (Premiums are basically based on age). Also now that we are living on retirement income, our income is much less than when I was working full time, so we also are eligible for a premium reduction, which makes it affordable for us.
I’m so sorry for your wife’s illness and I hope that things level out for you and your wife. It is unbelievable the costs that you have incurred. Understandably the insurance costs may have been one of the reasons you retired. I wonder what it is that makes Main’s health insurance high. I hope your prescriptions are covered, at least partially by your existing insurance. Correct me if I am mistaken, but once you are on Medicare, Medicare becomes your primary and the supplemental insurance you purchase (they can’t refuse) will be secondary.
God bless you and your wife.
Infrequently but quite a few times we have returned to the state where I grew up since I / we left 1966 June 17.
We have "always" stayed at my mother's, my brother's or my sister's.
This time (it is a drive of as much as five hours from where we have been living now for 30 years) I am considering a "hotel" with AARP discount. My sister will be away. Her mother-in-law as well as my mother (already 91, born 1923) live with her (the house is spacious and relatively new). The brother where I usually stay is at the far western edge of the county, all the way across from where my mother stays. The sister will be away with her husband.
I think ALL of us (especially myself) will need a way to get out of each other's hair -- which in my case is metaphorical). At age 69 it seems about time for me to begin to grow up.
Thank you to all for your comments. We have a Medicare D plan that had worked well for 2 years. Now, they
have moved some prescriptions from 'Tier 1' to 'Tier 2' so now have very high co-pays for my spouse. Have
to be very careful next open season. We have Medicare B, Medicare D and Medigap and all of a sudden I
received a small bill from the hospital's billing company yesterday for his 5 days stay at a hospital for pneumonia
where I totally made certain that he had been 'admitted' from last December !! Don't mind the small co-pay
but what if it were 4 or 5 figures ?? Thanks for listening !!Things are starting to get out of control.
One thing I am not very clear on, is that with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), if you are admitted in a hospital for observation, even if it is an overnight or several day stay, you are liable for the entire bill, as Medicare B will only pay, if you are admitted for a specific reason: Observation is not a valid reason.
I was told that under no circumstances you should let yourself be admitted "for observation"
Anyone hear anything more concrete on the subject????
After reading more about this ACA (affordable Care Act), it reminds me of the days when I was a resident of (I don't think I can mention the state) but the following will fit most states. The State came out and mandated that one could not drive an automobile if you didn't have auto insurance including Liablity. THIS WAS THE LAW! Right, guess what, because so many people didn't purchase the insurance, the state issued another LAW. Law Abiding People who purchased car insurance now had to purchased uninsured drivers insurance to cover the people who did not purchase insurance. Sound familiar?? Its like Deja vu all over again. Keep your eyes on the road. This is really just a general reply not meant for Yanushkevich only.
You are absolutely correct. Under no circumstances do you tolerate being 'under observation'.
AARP had an article in the last year about a woman in her 70s (I think) that fell down some stairs.
They took her to the hospital where she had severe sprains and possible a crack in her vertebra.
The hospital had taken her in as 'under observation' and in less than 3 days moved her to a
rehabilitation home for weeks. She did recover but a while later she got a bill for over $70,000.
I have seen articles on line that if scripts become limited, younger folks will get the meds before older
folks and they seem to want older folks to attend end-of-life seminars. We paid our just dues,
the first generation that earned good wages, paid SS with COLAS to folks who had no pension
plans nor had any money to save. Now that it is our turn they want to turn self-sufficient people
who already paid forward !! It totally riles me !!
You say: "Under no circumstances do you tolerate being 'under observation'." I just talked to a woman whose mother fell and broke her shoulder and she requested that the hospital "admit" her but they still put her "under observation". Another instance I am personally aware of is that a person had a heart condition so critical that the local heart unit with 25 critical care beds would not operate. They would not even let this person leave the hospital without either being sent by ambulance or wearing a portable defibrillator. When the patient went to the Mayo Clinic, they, unknown to him, admitted him "under observation". And the Mayo Clinic told the patient that only 10% of the 1,500 such cases that they treat each year are as serious as his. So, was he still not eligible to be "admitted", only observed????
My point here is to first be extremely aware that hospitals do this routinely even with critical cases that one would expect to have "admitted" status so as to preserve their right to re-hab after the necessary days in the hospital and just because their situation is so serious, at least to the average person. However, Medicare makes it very difficult for hospitals by doing an after-the-fact review that can and does leave the hospital with no payment because some reviewer with a conflict-of-interest (they get paid if they find "misuse") says that they should have only allowed "under observation" status. Hospitals are willing to accept a guaranteed lower payment and put you in the situation of paying for legitimate re-hab rather than face zero income for their services.
All I can figure out to do is to ask immediately what the admission status is when going in, to insist in front of multiple witnesses that the patient be "admitted" and to continue to ask for his status as long as the patient is there because the hospital can and will change the patient's status while he is there. Be prepared to fight.
AARP just announced that there is a bill being considered in Congress to correct this injustice. I suggest that you write your Congressman insisting that they pass this protection for retired people.
This confirms my worst fear; your horror stories are enough to get Congress to do something about it. This is a very useful input to this thread, thanks again!
Isn't it strange, fraudsters will always find a way to commit fraud, and it's us, honest folks, that have to pay the consequences!!!!!
Please be careful = last hospital admittance there no paper forms to sign. Online documentation showed that they
had 'admitted' my spouse BUT the hospital is allowed to change the status during the stay and is supposed to give
you notice very shortly after the change. Thought that retirement years would be peaceful and blissful = never worked
so hard at keeping our rights in our lives !!!
I throw their mail in the trash because they supported Obama care. With the promise that "if you like your insurance you can keep it" , since the passage I have lost my health care twice from two different employers. One by just getting rid of it for employees and the other by REDUCING THE HOURS that I work to a level that I had NEVER WORKED in the 15 years that I worked for the institution. Awful, awful!!!
As for the discounts, there are lots of other organization that have as good or better discounts than aarp
AARP is one of the premier advocate for seniors in the USA. We don't agree with all they do but by and large there is more good than bad that comes out.
Have to agree with you Hollywood, I also agree with some of the folks here who need to vent their frustrations about AARP, we might learn something from their travails.
That said, I save a lot of money with AARP, among others, things like my prescription glasses and cell charges. And they do stand up for seniors who are hurting, financially or otherwise. When you are not hurting, then AARP can be a bit irrelevant and intrusive. I get a lot of their emails and snail-mail, but it is easy to delete or to file away in my trash basket.
Canthony, your initial position implies you have not yet signed up for Medicare. In that case I feel sorry for you and all your compatriots who must sign on to the ACA (Obama-care). Medicare, while a government run program, is for me a model of effectiveness for otherwise uninsured seniors.
If I did not have Medicare, I would be much poorer. Medicare not only covers 80 to 100% of my medical services, but they do run interference for me, scaling a $6,000 invoice down to $1,200 and I, in turn being responsible for $240, not $1,200 if I did not have insurance. I was once in such a situation, after I retired and before I became 65 and a Medicare patient. I was charged $350 for a simple office visit due to an infection that required an antibiotic prescription. And I had no recourse, but to pay the bill, had I had Medicare, my out of pocket would have been less than $30.
Just wanted to add my 2 cents. My spouse was in a terrible farm accident 4 years ago and the total bill after 11 weeks out of twelve weeks in the hospital (they missed a left broken hip but rebuilt the right shoulder) the total bill came to $750K.
You read that number right. Without my deligence in keeping our medigap coverage (mine is covered from decades of working and paying into retiree health care) I only had to pay for a walker and crutches. Without the medigap, our bill would have been $150K. Where do you get that money ?? I have also been totally committed to the prospect of Long Term Care. Originally, bought it when we were both healthy (14 years ago) directly from TIAA/CREF. Since then, I am under the umbrella of TIAA/CREF via MetLife. I chose to pay the first 90 days of nursing home care if it became necessary and chose policies appropriate for our ages, etc. The plan payed $100 per day on each policy and I also bought a COLA small premium) and now we would be covered up to $186 per day. We have given up vacations, etc. just to pay for this
coverage. Five months in a nursing home for either of us would recover all of our premiums. I do not believe that it
is our adult offspring's responsibility to care for us in our old age, Self sufficiency is profoundly important to me. Thanks for listening.
It is hard for me to reply to you and your wife’s misfortune. Except to say I am so sorry she had to go through all the suffering and pain. I also will give you credit for the forward thinking and perseverance. I was brought up with the same values, our children will never have to take care of us, God willing. We just won’t let that happen.
You two have sacrificed many years without, and now I hope you can enjoy some fruits of your labor. I wish this TIAA would ask for stories of how people in their 70s coped and made do. Of course some were better off than others, but that’s OK, their life values always made them very supportive for worthy causes. What stories we would get. We used to play a sit around the table game with friends, neighbors etc. and each would tell, it had to be the truth, “When I was growing up, we were so poor that”
Thank you for your support. BTW, just between you and me, I am the wife and the spouse is the male. Have received many
discounts over the last 2 decades because of my email. My real name is Pauline. He is the farmer = I am the accountant, systems
analyst, etc. Hope that I just made you smile !!! When it comes to finances or meds, guess who is in charge !!!
Please DO NOT blow my cover = little old grey haired lady who can be forgetful when it is needed !!! Put a big, dark bucket over
my limelight years ago and I am just FINE with that perception. Serves me very well. Can lift 50 pound bags of grain, carry two
40 pound buckets of water and drive a pair of oxen like a seasoned ox teamster. Been at it for 40 years. Had a horse (rather a
horse owned me) for 30 years and had to put her down at the age of 36. Tough but it is what it is. Thanks for keeping my secret !!!
This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.
I think that everything that is commented on is printed on the TIAA web page because it is a forum. Sorry for the error in my thinking who’s who.
I will try to contact the administrator on Monday to see if it is
within the code of conduct to post a petition
to help my Doctor. Both my spouse and I have had Lyme diseases over the
decades and my Doc is being charged
with all kinds of foolish items. I have attached an article that appeared
in our local newspaper and I will post
the petition if the TIAA manager says that it is ok. This Dr. Gloor saved
my life two years ago and has saved
my spouse's life 4 times. BTW, I weigh 130 pounds dripping wet = lost 45
pounds when I nearly died !!
My decease Father taught me many things = the most important = put your
money where your mouth
is and FIGHT or keep quiet. I decided to fight !! So I went to my Doctor's
office yesterday, gave him tons
of printed research and made a donation to his new Legal Fund. Goodness, I
felt good !!!!!
Thanks for listening.
Another group of Doctors filed a complaint against Dr. James Gloor, the
local Doctor in the North Kingstown community who treats Lyme disease
patients with long term antibiotics. When their complaint about his
treatment of lyme and its co- infections failed, they fell back on a bogus
claim that his medical charts are too sloppy. Help us as RI patients retain
treatment options and stop the harassment of Dr Gloor.
That's why I signed a petition to Rhode Island Department of Health, which
"Please ask the RI Department of Health to dismiss bogus claims against the
Lyme Doctor (Dr. James Gloor) in our community, he is one of only a few Docs
willing to treat long term lyme disease!"
Will you sign the petition too? Click here to add your name:
Sorry to hear about your husband's situation. I think it is terrible to be faced with such ungodly medical charges and I feel for those who cannot afford to pay it. I guess I am lucky, at my age and in my situation, I do not carry any Medigap, simply because I don't believe in insurance, the way I was raised I guess. At my age and in my situation, I could self cover that bill, just leave that much less to my kids, so what! it's my money, not theirs (yet). Then again, at my age I don't know if I would want to continue functioning "repaired". To each his own I say.
I am not responding to gloat or brag or anything like that, what I want to say is that it is a "Schande" (German for a shameful situation" that the Medical profession including Hospital and care, costs so much. I agree, a doctor invests a lot of time and money into his education, malpractice insurance adds a significant toll to his charges. But hospitals have a lot of nerve charging so much for a room, when even Hilton offers luxury at a tenth of the cost. The reason I am told is all the free services the hospitals have to shoulder due to indigents who have no insurance.
Sadly, even with Obama-care, these hospital and care costs are not going to go down. I think Obama-care should have FIRST addressed the issues of Malpractice insurance and charges due to hospital stay and care.
It is well known that hospitals pad their fees so that they can treat people without insurance. The people who purchase health insurance end up paying anyway. All this is supposed to end because O’BamaCare will subsidize people who can’t pay for insurance, kind of the same thing but the Government and the IRS will be running things. I put this in the category of “You can keep your doctor”. As I said prior I believe that this will go the same way as Auto insurance. We will have to pay for uninsured drivers or we can’t drive. I also think the Hospitals will continue their pricing policy. More Administrators will be required etc. I hope I didn’t say anything disparaging.
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