Oct 4, 2021
AARP Bulletin Special Report: An Essential Guide to Making Smart Medicare Choices Today and Tomorrow
Plus: An exclusive interview with the new chief of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

WASHINGTON—Are Medicare Advantage Plans – the choice for health coverage by some 42 percent of Medicare enrollees today – delivering on their promises of excellent care at less cost to taxpayers? On the 25th anniversary of legislation that created these programs that allow private health networks to be all-in-one care providers to Medicare enrollees, AARP takes a deep look at their performance, and compare the benefits and services they provide to those with Original Medicare. While many Advantage plans offer vision, hearing and dental benefits that are not funded for original Medicare enrollees, experts note other limitations and issues that make the plans the less-preferable choice for many older Americans.

The Special Report also details top reasons why Medicare enrollees might consider changing their coverage during open enrollment (which runs each year from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7). We break down the specific care you will get from original Medicare versus Medicare Advantage plans for eight of the most common health care needs and issues. The extensive report also reveals AARP’s agenda for a stronger, healthier Medicare program. And, in a candid interview, CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure details her plans and thoughts about the future of the program.

Other stories in the October issue:

Fraud Watch

  • Fed or Fraud? The AARP Fraud Watch Network has seen a recent surge in phone calls from older Americans complaining of imposter scams in which the criminal claims to be from a trusted government agency, such as Medicare, the IRS or the Social Security Administration. In this issue, AARP Director of Fraud Victim Support Amy Nofziger explains why this is happening, shares callers’ stories and offers tips to spotting and stopping these scammers in their tracks.

Your Money

  • Relax About Your Credit Score: As Americans become more dependent on having credit to make important financial decisions, it can be easy to obsess over having the “perfect” credit score. In this “Financially Speaking,” finance columnist Linda Stern breaks down why there’s no need to stress on the ideal number.
  • Property Taxes in a Hot Market: If homes in your neighborhood are suddenly selling for far more than they were valued a year ago, does that mean your home is more valuable too – and so subject to higher property taxes? The answer may be yes. In this report the Bulletin details why property taxes are suddenly such a hot topic, and how to protect yourself from tax surprises, whether buying a new home or staying put.

Your Health

  • Long in the Tooth: With the pandemic causing missed annual dental appointments, many have turned to pursuing their own methods to achieve a bright smile. Take a look at these safe, DIY tips that could help mitigate some of the most common tooth-related problems.

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About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.

For further information: Daniel Alarcon, AARP, dalarcon@aarp.org, 202-538-0105