AARP investigated for false advertising of member insurance

The AARP prides itself on being an adamant watchdog for consumers' rights, especially on healthcare--but sometimes gods have feet of clay. The billion-dollar elderly advocacy group is now accused of false advertising on its own insurance policies.

AARP partnered with UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation's largest insurers, to give members limited-benefit policies. The investigation is trying to discover whether they marketed them as true insurance policies, which would have been deceptive since the maximum payment for many procedures falls far below what hospitals charge.

Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) has called for the AARP to disclose the profits it has made from selling the insurance policies. Meanwhile, the AARP has responded by launching its own investigation into its marketing to see whether it was deceptive in any way. Perhaps it can discover as much in investigating itself as it does investigating others.

To learn more about the limited-benefit policies:
- read this New York Times piece