FACT CHECK: AARP TV advertisement exaggerates truth

Published: Jun. 22, 2017 at 9:06 PM CDT
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A new AARP advertisement begins with a couple visiting an accountant.

The ad quickly stresses AARP's believed consequences for those with preexisting conditions.

"I have Asthma. Okay well insurers can charge thousand more that," it says.

FactCheck.Org says this isn't the whole story. The site says insurers can charge more, potentially thousands of dollars, based on preexisting conditions.But all these criteria must be met.

First, states would have to apply for and obtain a federal waiver to allow insurers to price policies on the individual market based on preexisting conditions. Then under that waiver, insurers could charge more for preexisting conditions, but only if a person hasn't maintained continuous coverage. That's defined by not having insurance for at least 63 days in one years time.

That higher premium could only be charged for one year, providing there's no other lapse in coverage. That's when the insurer would give a lower premium charge not based on preexisting conditions.

FactCheck.Org says it's difficult to say how many people would be impacted by these waivers.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated about half of the country's population lives in states that would not request waivers, allowing pricing based on preexisting conditions.