AARP offers life insurance to senior citizens through their partnership with The New York Life Insurance Company. Three different types of policies are offered for applicants depending upon their health status and their requirements for the total death benefit. It is important to understand that AARP is not a life insurance company themselves, but an interest group focusing on issues relating to the elderly. New York Life Insurance Company underwrites and services the policy, but they are a longstanding company with an excellent track record of service and financial stability. If you are eligible for AARP membership, AARP life insurance is an excellent choice for final expense life insurance. Learn more about the offerings.
Types of Policies Offered
The three types of final expense insurance policies offered by AARP through New York Life are:
- Simplified Issue Whole Life Insurance – This is a no medical exam life insurance policy but it is not a no underwriting policy. The underwriting process is much simpler than traditional underwriting and most people except those with severe medical conditions will qualify. The application is shorter than normal and it is a quick and easy way to get life insurance coverage. Those with terminal illnesses do not qualify for simplified issue policies. People can apply up to age 80. There is a maximum face amount offered of $50,000.
- Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance – A guaranteed issue whole life insurance policy is a policy that is guaranteed to be issued no matter the health condition of the insured person. This is the most expensive form of life insurance on the market because the risk to the life insurance company is the highest. Only people that need instant coverage or those who are not insurable with any other policy type should choose this form of life insurance. For AARP final expense insurance, someone can get a maximum face amount of $25,000. Members and their spouses can apply up until age 80.
- Term Life Insurance Until Age 80 – This is a term life insurance policy that members can apply for with a death benefit of up to $100,000. Members and their spouses aged 50 to 74 can apply. The premium on this policy is not level, it rises every year, but the face amount stays level throughout the policy. The underwriting on this policy is simplified since there is no medical exam and the application is a bit shorter than a typical term life insurance policy. The coverage can be converted to whole life insurance before age 80 but keep in mind the premiums rise after the conversion because whole life insurance is considerably more expensive than a term policy.
Each of these policies represents a good choice for final expense life insurance depending upon the health of the insured and the amount of death benefit that the applicant needs. The underwriting on each of them is less intensive than on a traditional policy and each offers a death benefit large enough to take care of final expenses such as burial expenses, funeral expenses, settling final bills and debts, and legal and administrative costs.
|Policy Type||Coverage Type||Death Benefit Offered||Underwriting Difficulty||Comparative Cost|
|Simplified Issue||Whole Life||$50,000||Moderate||Middle Expensive|
|Term (temporary)||Term till age 80||$100,000||Moderate||Least Expensive|
|Guaranteed Issue||Whole Life||$25,000||None||Most Expensive|
New York Life Insurance Service and Ratings
Since New York Life insurance is actually the life insurance company that you will be buying life insurance from, it is important to be comfortable with the organization prior to buying an AARP endorsed policy. Make sure that you understand, New York Life pays AARP to use their name. AARP is a marketing organization that licenses its name to certain products that are relevant to its members, such as life insurance. If you try to call AARP for service on your insurance policy you will be referred to NYL.
Luckily, New York Life insurance company is a highly reputable, industry-leading company. They get excellent marks for service and financial ratings. They receive generally positive ratings on consumer affairs. New York Life also attains the highest possible financial strength ratings from agencies such as A.M. Best and Standard and Poor’s and Fitch. Buying an AARP policy through NYL ensures that you will be treated well as a customer and your insurance company will be secure.
Qualifying for a Policy
AARP life insurance policies do not have traditional health ratings. The policy is either issued or declined. With the simplified issue policy (the most popular AARP final expense life insurance type), there are only three questions asked of you. These are:
- In the past 3 months, have you consulted a doctor or had treatment, medication, or have you had a diagnostic test of any type? You will need to explain if the answer to any of these questions is yes but a yes will not necessarily disqualify you from coverage.
- In the past 2 years, have you had treatment or medication for or been diagnosed by a doctor as having heart trouble, stroke, cancer, lung disease, diabetes requiring insulin, liver or kidney disease, AIDS, AIDS-related complex, or immune system disorder? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, it may disqualify you from coverage.
- During the last 2 years, for any condition, have you been admitted to or confined in a hospital, nursing home, extended care, or treatment facility? You will need to explain a yes answer, which may or may not disqualify you depending upon the severity of the condition that caused you to be admitted.
The term till age 80 policy does have a bit more underwriting. While there is no medical exam, they will pull medical records from the MIB and the health questionnaire is the same. The good news is that it is generally pretty easy to qualify for the temporary term coverage if you are in good health. The bad news is that most people are not in good health.
The guaranteed issue policy does not have underwriting because it is guaranteed acceptance. Unfortunately, this is also the most expensive policy because it is guaranteed acceptance. You should only apply for this plan if you do not qualify for the simplified issue policy.
Health Problems that Will Disqualify You from Coverage
There are many health issues that will disqualify you from coverage. These include:
- Common lung issues such as asthma, COPD, emphysema, or mesothelioma.
- Any complications of cardiovascular diseases. This includes blocked arteries, CHD, blood clots, aneurysms, the buildup of fluids from heart trouble, taking medication for heart or circulatory issues, or other complications of heart disease.
- Neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease or MS.
- Diabetes that requires treatment with insulin or other similar pharmaceuticals. If you have diabetes, complications of diabetes such as neuropathy or retinopathy will also disqualify you.
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Autoimmune disorders.
- And many other common health issues.
The complications pertain to the simplified issue policy and the term policy types, but not the guaranteed issue policy. The problem is that most AARP members are at an age where they have one or more significant health complications. The underwriting for AARP policies is a bit more restrictive than other final expense life insurance offerings from other companies. If you do not qualify for a simplified issue or term life insurance policy, you should pursue coverage with another insurance company before you purchase a guaranteed issue policy. This will save you quite a bit of money if you can qualify for a policy that is not guaranteed acceptance, and you will qualify for more coverage as well.
Prices and Considerations
These are prices for the whole life insurance, simplified acceptance policy. This is by far the most common policy purchased. The tables separate females and males because pricing differs. Note that there are no specific health ratings for any AARP policies and no tobacco rating. If you are accepted, these are the prices as of September 2020.
AARP Final Expense Life Insurance Prices (Female)
Copy of AARP Final Expense Life Insurance Prices (Male)
For guaranteed acceptance policies, these prices are about 55% higher than simplified issue policies, so multiply these prices by 1.55 to get a fairly approximate quote estimate. Term quotes are significantly less expensive, but a bit more complicated to quote because the price rises each policy year. Keep in mind that the rise in price is not guaranteed so it can go up more than estimated. Term life insurance is approximately half the price of the simplified issue policy, but this is fairly expensive for term coverage.
You should only purchase whole life insurance if you want the policy to cover final expenses. Not only will permanent coverage ensure that you have the policy when you need it, you will also be paid dividends which will help reduce premiums over time.
You can obtain quotes for this type of policy by working with New York Life Insurance. Their website offers a quote form to get started. You are better served to compare final expense life insurance quotes from multiple companies though.
Pros and Cons
The AARP policy is endorsed by AARP, and is underwritten by an excellent life insurance company in New York Life. The death benefit limits are also fairly high for final expense insurance, which is nice. However, the pro’s end here for the most part. The coverage is more expensive than average by quite a bit. The truth is you should compare final expense life insurance quotes from other providers to get a better deal. The term coverage should be avoided for the most part. It does not make sense to pay into a final expense life insurance policy that may not be there when you die, since the coverage terminates at age 80 and the average life expectancy is older than this for both men and women. The downsides to AARP coverage are:
- Limited underwriting means people in better health pay more than necessary.
- Easy to be declined coverage since most older people have existing medical conditions.
- Cost is expensive compared to the marketplace.
- AARP is not insurance coverage, there is no advantage to purchasing an “AARP” policy vs. a life insurance policy from another provider.
- Term life insurance is not level premium, be prepared for the cost to rise each policy year of coverage.
Conclusion on AARP’s Final Expense Insurance
AARP life insurance is a viable option through New York Life, but should only really be considered if you are unable to obtain any coverage except for the guaranteed issue policy. The prices are generally higher and the underwriting is fairly stringent. New York life is a strong company with excellent financial strength and good service, so if people are willing to pay a premium for this it is a choice that they may make. Overall, people are better served to compare quotes from other providers. You may also qualify for a traditional policy instead of a final expense policy. You may want to look at life insurance quotes on traditional policies as well for price comparison sake.