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No Silver Sneakers in some states -- UHC AARP

I'm curious why United Health Care / AARP Medigap would offer Silver Sneakers in some states but not in others?   Apparently the deal is available in California, Oregon and Nevada, but not my home state of Washington.

Burnhaven
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I (live in Ohio) had Silver Sneakers (SS) through United Health Care (UHC) and lost it in January, 2019. I am also a 68 year old fitness trainer and TEACH SS FLEX at several locations. A number of individuals (like me) lost SS under the UHC.

 

I dropped UHC as my supplemental plan and sbscribed with Medical Mutual in Ohio. I received a BETTER plan at a LOWER premium and it INCLUDED SS! I recommend all UHC subscribers to check with a (FREE) broker to review options.

 

Of course you want to be sure that your are receiving the same (or better) coverage at a price that is affordable for your budget. But I can assure you that there are plans available that offer SS that AND coverage equal to or greater than UHC's. My humble opinion, UHC is more concerned about their bottom line (financial health) then our health.

 

And AARP should be lobbying Medicare for the provision of a Silver Sneakers type plan (if it's not broken why fix it) that is UNIVERSALLY available to all Medicare recipients.

 

It's much better for our health and much less expensive to employ preventitive measures for our health and well being than to wait until people are sick.

 

Do the right thing AARP. And finally, WE, those of us that are eligible for Medicare, MUST collectively speak up over issues like this. There IS strength in numbers, especially if we spek with our wallets. Refuse supplemental plans that do not provide exercise/welness options AT NO COST.

And let AARP know that we do not need to support their organization financially if they are truly not putting US before their own bottom line.

Bronze Conversationalist

I received a BETTER plan at a LOWER premium 

 

@MichaelC239646 if you had a G plan with UHC and enrolled in a G plan with MM, you did not get a better plan, you got the same plan for a lower premium.

 

All Medigap plans with the same letter are identical in every way except the premium.

 

Original Medicare covers health care that is MEDICALLY NECESSARY. A gym membership is neither health care nor medically necessary.

 

You can rally the troops all you want but don't expect DC to start handing out free gym memberships.

 

In my state there are something like 40 Medigap carriers. Currently only 3 include SS and one of those carriers is UHC.

 

Before long it will be only 2 carriers with the SS benefit.

 

If you insist on having a gym membership with your Medicare plan you may find that "free" benefit is quite costly when compared to the same plan with other carriers that don't offer SS but have an even lower premium.


Bark less. Wag more.
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My brother called UHC / AARP and was told that it was valid in the 3 states I mentioned.   He has been using UHC/AARP medigap for years.   When I called them, I didn't get into where it was offered, but was definitely told not in Washington State.

 

Fortunately I've found that our local senior center has a weight/cardio room which I can use with an annual membership fee of $40, plus a one-time $60 charge for a 15-session hands-on course covering the use of the various machines.

Burnhaven
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@Indianrock wrote:

I'm curious why United Health Care / AARP Medigap would offer Silver Sneakers in some states but not in others?   Apparently the deal is available in California, Oregon and Nevada, but not my home state of Washington.


It would be nice if you could provide a source for your information.

 

According to the SilverSneakers Medicare Health Plan locator,

SilverSneakers Medicare Health Plan locator by state

in those states and others, the only plans which come up which are supplied by AARP/UHC are Medicare Complete plans which are Medicare Advantage plans NOT Medigap plans.

 

I can find NO CURRENTLY OFFERED AARP Medicare Supplemental  (Medigap) plans by United Healthcare in any state which offers the SilverSneakers benefit - 

 

You maybe right but without a stated source - who knows - seems this is very confusing but it is UHC that controls the plans NOT AARP.  UHC with the affiliation of AARP sells both Supplemental (Medigap) plans and Medicare Advantage plans.  A special benefit like SilverSneakers can be purchased with plans when it is specified - continuous coverage as long as you don't change or drop a supplemental (Medigap) plan but annually offered under Medicare Advantage plans since these types of benefits (MA) are offered annually and can change in benefit design annually.

 

Another thing which you might find somewhat amusing - if you buy a supplemental plan (Medigap) in your state - if you move to another state, you can most likely still use the same plan - course your plan would then most likely have premiums based on your new resident state rules.

 Medicare.gov - Medigap plans - What If I Move Out of State

 

 From the link:

You can keep your current Medigap policy regardless of where you live as long as you still have Original Medicare. If you want to switch to a different Medigap policy, you'll have to check with your current or new insurance company to see if they'll offer you a different policy.

 

If you decide to switch, you may have to pay more for your new Medigap policy. You may also have to answer some medical questions if you're buying a Medigap policy outside of your Medigap open enrollment period.

 

So I wonder why we  could not buy a Medigap plan anywhere in the country?

Course, the SilverSneakers benefit is not a benefit that is regulated by the government so it most likely would not go with the plan if you move from one state to another state.

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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some people say it's united health care, not aarp.    i disagree.

 

i have no respect whatsoever for aarp -- they are supposed to be representing 'retired persons' -- what a joke!!!!!

 

and they are such a disappointment, particularly with their brand new advertising "...you don't need to be retired to be a member of aarp..." - at a discounted rate to boot.    

 

they have NOT been protecting retired persons, if they were, they would have opposed this mess in our behalf.    

 

ps  when i called AARP and even united, the people i spoke with had no answers, no clue.  it was obvious, at the time, they were told to have no answers.

 

can't wait to not renew -- but i'm just a retireee -- they'll be making money on all those NON-retirees 50 years old.     beware you 50 year olds, don't fall for their concern for you.      

 

     

valerieb
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SilverSneakers is a non-contractual benefit that has been included with some MA and Medigap plans issued by UHC, Humana, Blue Cross plans. Availability varies by carrier and state.

 

AARP has no input regarding SilverSneakers. This is a UHC decision and their alone.

 

You can read more here.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/12/04/673249571/unitedhealthcare-customers-are-unhapp...

 

Check SilverSneakers availability by carrier and state here.

https://tools.silversneakers.com/Eligibility/HealthPlans

 

If you have a Medigap plan you can change to a different carrier/plan at any time subject to underwriting. Some states have birthday or anniversary rules that allow you to bypass underwriting.

 

Medicare Advantage can only be changed during AEP unless you have an SEP qualifying event.

 


Bark less. Wag more.
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Thanks for your reply! First, full disclosure. I am a certified Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer. I teach group fitness classes at two local universities, a law firm, for High School students, a non-profit organization that serves the cancer community and Silver Sneakers FLEX classes at three (non-gym) locations.

 

if you had a G plan with UHC and enrolled in a G plan with MM, you did not get a better plan, you got the same plan for a lower premium.

 

And the facts. I enrolled in a Medigap plan (Medical Mutual of Ohio) that was ONE LEVEL up from the UHC Medigap Plan that I was previously enrolled. I chose the UHC plan based on my personal health status and the premium.  I worked with a broker through my pension plan (Ohio Public Employment Retirement System, OPERS). And at the time, Silver Sneakers was included.

 

When UHC dropped SS, I contacted the broker service and found that a Medical Mutual of Ohio Plan (one level UP from the UHC plan that I had) provided better coverage, included SS and charged a (slightly) lower premium (if I recall correctly, it was roughly $13 less per month).

 

I BELIEVE I now have Plan G with MM of Ohio, but do not recall the “letter” plan that I had with UHC, but it was NOT the same, of this I am certain. Because I am a “healthy” 68 year-old, and have not (fortunately) needed services/benefits from my healthcare system, I view it as a requirement that I pay little attention to. This may be flippant on my part, but it is what it is.

 

If you insist on having a gym membership with your Medicare plan you may find that "free" benefit is quite costly when compared to the same plan with other carriers that don't offer SS but have an even lower premium.

 

There is BIG difference between having a “gym membership” and access to a “Silver Sneakers” exercise program. For many Seniors, simply going to a gym can be intimidating, to the point of being a deterrent. They cannot identify with the environment, are not familiar with/knowledgeable of equipment and perceive group classes to be beyond their level of fitness. They (the Seniors have no peer identity/camaraderie with fellow Seniors).

 

The Silver Sneakers FLEX program (what I teach) provides exercise AND a social support network/camaraderie (a very positive aspect) at ANY location. The FLEX classes that I teach are at Senior apartment buildings and an over 55 residential home-owners development (no gyms).

The participants that I teach in FLEX classes DO perform various exercises very admirably, have established a social network, look forward to each exercise session and being with their peers. We (including me) are truly a group of individuals that have “bonded”.

 

Original Medicare covers health care that is MEDICALLY NECESSARY. A gym membership is neither health care nor medically necessary.

 

This is the MOST important point. Medicare, healthcare for that matter, should emphasize that “MEDICALLY NECESSARY” is a last resort if you will. Every effort should be made to educate and motivate Seniors to subscribe to WELLNESS initiatives (stay physically active, eat wisely, engage in cognitive function activities). By promoting physical and mental/cognitive “exercise”, “medically necessary” needs AND costs can be significantly reduced.

 

Therefore, I would argue, physical and mental fitness IS an ABSOLUTE (preventative) benefit that would GREATLY improve our society (and put a dent In the cost of healthcare).

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I do anuff fitness myself the insirance I trying sign up for I be 53 the 29 this month

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I live in Oregon and recently became eligible for Medicare.  Purchase Plan F Medigap from AARP United Healthcare, but don't seem to be able to get Silver Sneakers.  Previous poster to this forum suggested that it IS available in Oregon.

So .. which is it?   Can I get Silver Sneakers with AARP UNC Plan F in Oregon, or not ?

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@deegeewhy wrote:

I live in Oregon and recently became eligible for Medicare.  Purchase Plan F Medigap from AARP United Healthcare, but don't seem to be able to get Silver Sneakers.  Previous poster to this forum suggested that it IS available in Oregon.

So .. which is it?   Can I get Silver Sneakers with AARP UNC Plan F in Oregon, or not ?


Go to the Silver Sneaker website plan locator page, put in your state and it will give you a list of all the Medicare plans ( both Medicare Medigap plans, if any, and Medicare Advantage plans)  which offer the Silver Sneaker program.

 

https://tools.silversneakers.com/Eligibility/HealthPlans?state=IL

 

Very few Medicare Medigap plans (supplemental plans) offer the Silver Sneakers program.

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
Contributor

I just joined the Silver Sneakers group in Oct. 2018, and loved it, but on

Dec. 15th - they said I was no longer eligible.  I never received any notice

that they were eliminating this from their UHC Supplement plan in Michigan.

I called and was told that they eliminated this from many states.  This is

very upsetting, since, I would think this is a great benefit to staying healthy.

 

Online, I see many others that are upset about this elimination.  When it

is open enrollment for 2019 in Oct., I will be changing to another plan that covers this. 

Contributor

I am so annoyed about this whole situation with Silver Sneakers being cancelled on my plan in just over a few months.  I have been with a gym (Chuze in California) for over 10 years and had a great membership price with them and when AARP United Health Care Plan F offered this as an inclusion to my insurance, that's why I bought this Plan.  I went to the gym today and was turned away because they no longer take Silver Sneakers and they said I need to REAPPLY at my gym and pretty much start over paying yearly/monthly fees AT A MUCH HIGHER RATE NOW.  This is just not right.  That is the BIG reason I chose this Plan F (WHICH IS VERY EXPENSIVE IN ITSELF) because I was getting Silver Sneakers included.  These **bleep** insurance companies screw us one way or another all the time but increase the yearly rates for our plans VERY EASILY.  Not a happy camper right now with United Health Care/AARP Medicare Plans.  

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