A small point here, Woollcott, and I don't really know how to express it, so bare with me.
I just received a flyer from AARP offering information on insurance. At the bottom, it contains a couple of caveats.
AARP does not make health care plan recommendations for individuals. You are strongly encouraged to evaluate your needs before choosing a health care plan
AARP Health is a collection of health related products, services and insurance programs available to AARP members.. Neither AARP nor its affiliate is the insurer. AARP contracts with insurers to make coveage available to members. Insurers and providers pay a fee to AARP and its affiliate for use of the AARP trademark and other services. Amounts paid are used for general purposes of AARP and its members.
The bold is a part of the disclaimer. I don't pretend to know the meaning of the second quote. It could mean that AARP accepts advertising, and receives a fee for doing so. This is not a spectacular endorsement. In fact, I don't see an endorsement at all, neither of the companies representated, nor any individual policy. Personally, I believe AARP could provide a little more guidance.
I'll also mention that one of our members, Phoenix, submitted a request for information from some source (not necessairly AARP) and received so many phone calls as to amount to harassment. And having requested information, her subscription to the national do not call list gave her no protection.