New "Renew Active" Fitness Benefit from AARP-UHC Part B
I switched from UHC-AARP Plan F to Blue Shield Plan F last year when UHC-AARP dropped Silver Sneakers and substituted a funky thing that supposedly pays 50% of my 24-Hour Fitness Supersport Membership instead of the whole membership fee. Apparently UHC-AARP listened to all of us who Spoke With Our Feet and walked out on them, because for 2020 they will offer "Renew Active", whose website states they cover my 24-Hour Fitness Supersport gym. You can check here (https://www.myrenewactive.com/content/fit/member/en/secure/home.html#!/find-fitness-location) to see if your gym is covered.
Note that Renew Active [RA] is not quite as good as Silver Sneakers [SS], because with SS you can go to a number of different member gyms in the same month, whereas with RA it appears you pick one gym and have to stick with that. However, as confirmed by 24-Hour-Fitness Membership ("Loshaine" who I spoke to today 11/4 at 9:45 AM) in the case of 24-Hour Fitness once you establish that your local gym is covered by Renew Active, you can go to any 24-Hour Fitness gym that's at the same level or lower, just as with Silver Sneakers (and that's pretty much the same as with Silver and Fit, the fitness plan included with many Medicare Advantage programs).
The other thing I learned is that if I stick with Blue Shield, not only will be premium be higher than with AARP-UHC, but it will go up in June after my [May] birthday month whereas AARP-UHC's won't. So I plan to switch from Blue Shield's Plan F-extra ($184 increasing to $199 in June) to AARP-UHC's Plan G ($153.42 for the entirety of 2020), unless someone tells me why I shouldn't.
The only thing I don't understand at this point is why AARP-UHC will charge me only $153.42 for Plan G, but for Plan F will charge me $182.53 (i.e., a difference of $349.32 over the 12 months) even though the only difference between F and G is that the former covers the $185 Part B deductible and the latter doesn't. I am rechecking on this and will update if it's incorrect.
I am having a hard time getting my YMCA to accept the Renew Active plan. However, there are multiple YMCAs signed up in the near by communities that have signed up. They accepted this last year but are refusing it this year. I am currently being charged a monthly membership and have to pay for classes every 6 weeks which is getting very costly. Can someone Please tell me why they would refuse to sign up and if there is anything I can do?
My Spouse is having a somewhat different problem. She has been a member of the Volusia County (Florida) YMCA for over 30 years and she joined originally solely so that she could participate in the Aquatic exercise program. From the beginning, she has paid monthly dues until 4 months ago, when she was notified that she, like "Silver Sneakers" participants, didn't have to pay dues anymore. That sounded good to her.
However, she was notified this week that they (the YMCA) were in financial trouble, and they needed to get more funding from their members. They said that they are participating in the Renew Active plan, but only those members who used the Wellness Center (Gym, etc.) could benefit from the "No Fee program. All other members, including pool, group exercise classes, cycling classes pickleball, etc. will have to pay monthly dues on their first visit every month. Both of us regard this as discrimination since no one has the right to decide on their program to keep fit, and my Spouse has kept fit for more than 30 years by Aquatic exercise, walking and diet.
The supplemental plan G is replacing F, and is enough cheaper to make the medicare deductible cost of $185 a year worth it; no real explanation except Congress wanted to eliminate the plan with no deductible or co pay so the insurers priced plan G so we would switch. Which I did. But I'm not holding my breath about premium increases. The real question is whether, if you rarely use medical services, you should switch to the high deductible plan G which will be offered in January, but not by AARP. The premium is much lower but you are on the hook for the first $2300 in expenses. You won't come out ahead until about age 80 when the premium for regular G will be much higher. If you google "high deductible medicare supplment makes sense" you will find an informative article.
Each insurance company decides how it will set the price, or Premium, for its Medigap policies. It’s important to ask how an insurance company prices its policies. The way they set the price affects how much you pay now and in the future.
Medigap policies can be priced or "rated" in 3 ways: