Reply
Periodic Contributor

Silver Sneakers: Cutting AARP's United Health Care?

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. ( You'd think an insurance company would want you around to keep paying the premiums. 🙂

 

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 50% of a gym membership. But instead of full membership has decided to "provide" additional web resources to gloss up the deal. Pretty sure I can get whatever information they post on online without their "help."  Think they are rolling out this "Web-based Program" to cover for the fact they are cutting Silver Sneakers.  

 

 

If this is the case, I will be considering a different suppliment plan. Also I'll be calling both AARP and UnitedHealthcare to ask them if this is true. 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, especially if we all call AARP and United Healthcare to ask if its true. Its open enrollment, and market forces could make a difference.

 

The Silver Sneakers website for California still lists United Healthcare as one of the insurance companies which supports them. Think this is old information, correct me if I'm wrong. Aetna, Anthem, Blue Shield, and Humana are listed as Silver Sneaker providers.  I will be checking them out. If they still support Silver Sneakers I'm going to consider moving my Medicare suppliment decision to one of them. It will be hard to do, currently have UnitedHealthcare from my employer, and they are a good insurance company, but if this is true, its too much.

Tom
Regular Contributor

Hi all.   I'm in So. Cal. and have been with United Health's Medigap Plan F for 12 years and as I'm an old fitness believer I'm very disappointed to learn that my United Health plan is dropping Silver Sneakers.   At this point I'm really regret just re-subscribing to AARP for another 5-years!!!

 

Would those of you who have found alternative medicare health plans (medigap, not advantage) please post the info....

Periodic Contributor

Yes, in California... Anthem Blue Cross offers Silver Sneakers as part of their Medigap supplement plan.  As a new enrollee to Medicare, I decided to avoid all the hype and intended assurance given to AARP's "only" endorsed insurance company, United Health Care (UHC).  There are other fish in the sea. Decided to sign up with Anthem Blue Cross.  

 

Anthem Blue Cross monthly premium is less than UHC's  and I'm saving 100% on gym membership, not just 50%.  How UHS came up with that percentage is beyond me, think it was some "team" decision, where they argued about how far to go with this move and settled on 50-50.  Some on the "team" wisely knew we wouldn't be happy with their decision, so they decided to go "half way" as attempt at appeasement.  

 

Would have been better if UHC had been completely honest and just come right out and said, "we really don't care if you go to the gym or not." Pure foolishness on the part of an insurance company that should want to keep their members alive, if only to continue to collect our premiums.  

Tom
Honored Social Butterfly

@Pideas

 

Tom, maybe you and others should try answering this recent question posed by an AARP Community representative.  Don't know if it would do any good but they might be listening better on that "Benefits and Discounts" Board.

AARP - What Are The Benefits of Joining AARP?

 

Be sure to read the "Welcome & Start" post on the same "Benefits and Membership" board'

 

Hello and welcome to AARP’s Benefits & Discounts forum. 

 

Do you have questions about the benefits and discounts of AARP Membership?  This is the place to post those questions or to share your own experiences.  Chances are someone has a solution or can point you in the right direction.  If you find a solution that works, let others know and pass on your own tips and insights.

0 Kudos
3,882 Views
3
Report
Periodic Contributor

Hi Gail,

 

I will do so today.  And, thankyou.  Tom

Tom
0 Kudos
2,515 Views
2
Report
Honored Social Butterfly

@Pideas

 

Tom, I just posted a link to the UHC 2019 Medicare Plan Press Release - it covered California and some other states.

 

Their (new) senior fitness program will only be covered under their Medicare Advantage Plans.

 

from the link in my new thread ~

 

  • Renew ActiveTM, UnitedHealthcare's Medicare Advantage fitness program (formerly Optum Fitness Advantage), will expand to 12 additional states[iv] and include new features, like online exercises and activities designed to support cognitive health and help people stay active in body and mind.

Renew Active also offers access to numerous participating fitness locations at no additional cost, including 24 Hour Fitness, Anytime Fitness, Curves, Gold's Gym, LA Fitness, Life Time and Snap Fitness. Locations also include local participating YMCAs.

 

Most likely much of this is coming from a new CMS rule that takes affect with 2019 Medicare Advantage plans.

 

KHN - Medicare Advantage Plans Cleared To Go Beyond Medical Coverage — Even Groceries

0 Kudos
2,378 Views
1
Report
Regular Contributor

The notice I received in the mail, states "You can receive a special program offer of 50% off the monthly membership retail rate at participating YMCAs and fitness centers.......There is also a waived or reduced enrollment fee."  The plan is "administered by Optum for United Healthcare".  I called the phone # in the letter to ask about the new plan.  I wanted to know if my current gym would be included (yes) and I wanted to know what the fee would be and if I would have full use of the gym as I currently do now.  They did not know the answer to those questions.  I also asked if there was a cap on how much the gym could charge ('cause we all know the "retail rate" is a moving target) and if there were senior specific classes that would be offered instead of the silver sneakers classes.  they didn't know that either.

0 Kudos
2,416 Views
0
Report
Periodic Contributor

Thank you.   I talked to two customer reps with regard to this same issue impacting Ohio members.

 

Adding insult to injury, I am told as a policyholder you won't be able to get the new authorization number for the reduced coverage to give to your local until the new year.

 

Imagine calling UHC post New Year's Eve and waiting on the phone?

 

I'm certain most of us will be out of pocket 100 per cent while UHC and fitness centers sort out this new program. Again, this was a poorly thought through change

that reveals a base disregard for the customer.

 

I suspect most will not even fool with the new diluted benefit given the hassle factor.

 

 

Michael Chanak Jr.
0 Kudos
3,900 Views
1
Report
Contributor

If enough of us complain, it may make a difference...worth a try. Billie from Calif.
0 Kudos
2,466 Views
0
Report