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Re: Silver Sneakers: No Longer an AARP Benefit?

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Message 21 of 30

Just for the record, I am not happy with the loss of the Silver Sneakers program in Arizona. The result is essentially an additional monthly premium increase ($20 for me, which is half the gym membership where I have been going). The additional benefits are of essentially no value to me: either already available or not ones that I would need. I hate to leave UHC, but I will continue to monitor eligibility and cost for other supplement programs.

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Re: Silver Sneakers: No Longer an AARP Benefit?

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Message 22 of 30

@DAdamsKX@Pideas@ChristineS148307 @RoxanneO884513 

 

Thank you for posting regardign the SilverSneakers Program with your AARP Medicare Plan provided by UnitedHealthcare.

 

We understand you have concerns regarding the removal of the Silver Sneakers program as a value-added benefit to your AARP branded Medicare plan. We are sorry that this program is no longer going to be offered in your state. Decisions about the SilverSneakers program markets are made jointly by UnitedHealthcare, SilverSneakers and AARP. The evaluation process must take into account a variety of different factors, such as the availability of locations, number of insured members in a state, marketing factors, regulatory concerns, etc. At this time, SilverSneakers is being replaced with a variety of new services such as a special membership rate at participating YMCAs and fitness centers and a personal wellness coach available over the phone to help you set and meet your fitness and health goals. UnitedHealthcare can also connect you to valuable community resources to help you live as healthy and active a life as possible. You can use a participating YMCA or fitness center and receive a special program offer of 50% off the monthly membership rate. There is also a waived or reduced enrollment fee. This change will allow UnitedHealthcare to offer more options to more insured members.

 

You can call 1-888-887-5963 to learn more about these services, or if you would like to join a YMCA or fitness center. By calling this dedicated health and wellness line, you can also inquire if your current fitness center is participating in the network and, if it’s not, to nominate it. Another way to nominate your local fitness center and help the network grow is to give the referral letter to your fitness center manager. That way your fitness center knows of your interest in having them join the network and they have the information to learn more.

 

If you would like to see which other healthcare providers participate in the Silver Sneakers program in your state, please visit https://tools.silversneakers.com/Eligibility/HealthPlans.

 

We hope that this information is helpful. We do appreciate you taking the time to inform us of your concerns, and thank you for being a member of AARP

AARPTeri
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Re: Silver Sneakers: No Longer an AARP Benefit?

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Message 23 of 30

Part of the reason for this forum, as I understand it, is for AARP to hear directly from its members about concerns, compliments, etc.  Hundreds of members have taken to this forum to voice strong opposition to this ridiculous move by AARP to take away our Silver Sneakers memberships, basically telling its members that AARP no longer cares about preventative health measures like exercise.  I would suggest, AARPBriana, that you make sure the powers that be spend a few minutes looking at the comments here and on several other web pages that have popped up this week with members who are so outraged by this move, that we are actively seeking other insurers who still care enough about their clients that they offer Silver Sneakers .... and there are a lot of them here in California.  Furthermore, moves like this make me question the value of my AARP membership because it is apparent you are not fighting for us on issues like this that matter to seniors' well-being.

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Re: Silver Sneakers: No Longer an AARP Benefit?

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Message 24 of 30

Hi Briana, 

 

You're the one we are addressing at this point.  We don't need to be "farmed out" to some "Member Relations" department.  Consider walking over to them and asking them what they think is happening on the forum sight for which you are the concierge.  Referring problems to other department is something frequently done to avoid transparency and to keep things as opaque as possible.  

 

AARP needs to come clean on this.

 

And, yes, we probably will contact Member Relations department, but when we do, it will be to drop our memberships.

 

I have yet to see complete clarity on this site about what is happening with AARP and UHC's Silver Sneakers cut.  Here are some possible reasons:  1) AARP is in complete accordance with cutting Silver Sneakers Program, its good for seniors to pay more for gym membeships  2) AARP doesn't really care, give it enough time, this will all go away  3) AARP supports unconditionally their chosen Medicare insurance carrier no matter what  4) AARP financial ties to UHC are too entangled to allow AARP to say anything 5) AARP hasn't been paying attention to any of this and its too late now anyway, again ... it will all just go away.  

 

We have no idea why.  Can you tell us?

 

Also, I'm waiting for your response to my previous post asking what you meant by "several states" cutting Silver Sneakers.  Also, as pointed out in this forum thread and might be made mention of here:

 

There are other Medicare supplement plans which still do offer Silver Sneakers.  

Tom
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Re: Silver Sneakers: No Longer an AARP Benefit?

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Message 25 of 30

Hi all, I understand your frustrations. If you would like to voice further concerns with AARP, our member relations department is the best point of contact. You can reach them via email at memberrelations@aarp.org.

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Re: Silver Sneakers: No Longer an AARP Benefit?

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Message 26 of 30

AARPBriana - you have cleared up nothing for me.  When my birthday month came in August, I received all sorts of mailers from AARP/UHC encouraging me to continue my policy and all my "great benefits".  There was never any mention of dropping the Silver Sneakers program which is one of the reasons I signed up for the UHC coverage.  Then cut to a few days ago and I get the mailed notice that you are abandoning the SS program and putting in it's place a 50% discount program and some online resources.  I called the Customer Service phone # as suggested on the letter to get more information about the replacement program and literally was told NOTHING.  They could not say if my gym would definately be participating in the new program, they could not say what it would cost me or if there was a cap on how much that 50% could be or if I would still have full access to my gym or if there will be SS type classes offered.  They could not tell me when that information would be available to me or how long after 1/1/19 it would take for people to be able to actually take advantage of the program. The only thing I was assured of was that I may have to pay the full gym membership after 1/1/19 until they "iron out all the details with the participating gyms" (who ever "they" end up being). 

 

So, now I'm stuck in the national open enrollment nightmare and don't have the advantage of changing my plan during my birthday open enrollment because AARP/UHC was not honest with me.  Plus, you expect me to take it on faith that the new program will be as good as the old program and go ahead and keep my existing plan, which has raised the rates every year AND now I will have to pay for a gym membership on top of a higher premium for lesser benefits.

 

Additionally, I think that your statement "Silver Sneakers is no longer being offered in several states, including California, after December 31, 2018" is misleading.  I'm being told by other insurance companies that they are still offering Silver Sneakers in CA.  It appears that the more correct way to state the facts would be "AARP/UHC is no longer offering Silver Sneakers in several states, including California, after December 31, 2018."  

 

Lastly, I'm trying to figure out how on earth AARP thinks this is a good way to treat the very people you are supposed to be advocating for.   

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Re: Silver Sneakers: No Longer an AARP Benefit?

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Message 27 of 30

I'm not interested in contacting United Health Care.  I'm more interested in what AARP is going to do to ensure that the insurance plan they promote is worthwhile.

 

I'm more interested in asking how you can tell senior citizens that they can now save 50% on a gym membership when many are rationing drugs because they can't afford their medication.

 

Get out of your fancy shoes and step into the shoes of the people you are supposed to represent.  Shame on you!

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Re: Silver Sneakers: No Longer an AARP Benefit?

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Message 28 of 30

Dear Brianna,

 

Thank you for clearing this up for me. Most of what you said, however, is already my understanding of the situation. There may be some other things you can clear up for others and for myself as well.   

 

As this is a nationally read forum, could you be more specific as to which "several other states" are losing Silver Sneakers. I have read that United Healthcare has already ended its contract with Silver Sneakers' parent corporation and that United Healthcare's sponsored Silver Sneakers will, as a consequence, end everywhere. Your response to my post implied that Silver Sneakers was alive and well elsewhere and only specific states were affected. 

 

Knowing what you mean by "several other states" will be helpful information for folks living in those states. This is important upfront information for those going into initial enrollment and who still have a choice in their supplemental insurance carrier.  This is also true for others who have cause to change supplemental carriers under California's birthday rule or insurance company compliance and misrepresentation, etc.

 

I won't attempt to compare Silver Sneakers program to United Healthcare's replacement. I can report, though, that from this site's forums, those who have called the insurance carrier found very little satisfaction in the knowledge or substantiveness of the planned replacement.  

 

Given the United Healthcare's Silver Sneakers departure letters have been sent, depending upon the state, for some months now, I'm surprised that AARP has not openly addressed this, reviewed the insurance company's replacement plans, or considered the impact it will have on us, your constituents.  If AARP is going to endorse an insurance carrier, it seems to me they can let us know what going on with that company. 

 

In doing my Medicare enrollment reseach, I have already found the medical world not transparent enough to make an informed decision. In fact, I found much in medical information purposefully secretive and hidden from the consumer.  Its my belief the same thing is happening to what was my choice in supplemental insurance plan (United Healthcare.)

 

This doesn't need clearing up just for me, it needs clearing up for everyone enrolled or planning to enroll in United Healthcare.  

 

AARP can help us with this.

Tom
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Re: Silver Sneakers: No Longer an AARP Benefit?

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Message 29 of 30

I hope I can clear this up for you. Silver Sneakers is no longer being offered in several states, including California, after December 31, 2018. A letter was sent to affected members in September and another will be sent before the end of the year. Through UnitedHealthcare you can select a membership of your choice from participating YMCAs and fitness centers and receive 50% off the monthly fee. In addition, there will be additional resources available such as a trained wellness coach over the phone or online classes or local classes. You can learn more about those options at www.HealthYourWay.com If you have more specific questions about the change please contact UnitedHealthcare.

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Silver Sneakers: No Longer an AARP Benefit?

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Message 30 of 30

I'm in the process of initial enrollment in a Medicare Part B suppliment insurance plan.  Just heard from an insurance agent I'm working with that United Healthcare Plan no longer covers Silver Sneakers (at least here in California.)  

 

Can't believe a gym membership is something an insurance company wants to cut.  One of the best routes to long life is through exercise. 

 

The agent said that United Healthcare is justifying their decision because "only" 3% of Californians use Silver Sneakers. That's still a lot of people, and shouldn't new enrollee's to AARP endorsed Medicare plan be alerted its not going to be as good as used to be?   

 

If this is true, AARP should alert its members about this, given their name is all over this plan. Also heard from the agent working to sell me the United Healtcare plan that the company will still pay only 50% of a gym membership.  What are the other advantages being promoted in light of the loss of Silver Sneakers? Is this a good idea from AARP's perspective?

 

 

The Silver Sneakers website for California still lists United Healthcare as one of the insurance companies which supports them. Is this at this point false advertising? Shouldn't AARP be doing something about this? Believe the "deal" to get rid of Silver Sneakers has long been in the works. Correct me if I'm wrong.

 

(Currently have UnitedHealthcare from my employer, and they are a good insurance company, but if this is true, its too much.)

 
Tom
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