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Silver Sneakers One size does not Fit All

Are you happy with the gym selected for free membership by the Silver Sneaker bunch?  Well I am not.  I live near Grass Valley Ca., and the gym selected is old and moldy.  You cannot swim in their pool because there is a huge mass of chlorine gas lurking over it, which swimmers have to choke through.   It is very unhealthy.   They are overcrowded, fail to have even meagre comfort amenities, like benches in the dressing rooms.  I don't like it.

There is another gym in town that totally fits my requirements.  Open, spacious, a delightful and very large pool area, and yet, I can't take advantage of my Unitedhealthcare perk to join it. 

I joined UNitedhjealthcare because I felt I could justify the premium it covered gym membership.  Well it does, but not for me.  Does anyone else have this problem?

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I'm glad I'm not the only one upset about this change in coverage!
Periodic Contributor

I think it's a done deal.  For us, it amounts to a $50/month premium increase all by itself, since that's what it will cost us to keep the Silver Sneakers gym membership at the new "special" rate of 50% off.

 

We got Silver Sneakers in our Plan F.  It looks like BCBS Plan F's still have Silver Sneakers next year.  We're looking at switching to the Blues.

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Social Butterfly

You can go to any gym or fitness facility that participates in Silver Sneakers give them your name, address (you don’t need to even tell them who your insurance is) and they can tell you using the Silver Sneakers database if you have that benefit.

 

My AARP/United Healthcare supplement plan includes Silver Sneakers.

 

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Regular Contributor

Not after 1/1/2018. UHC dropped them nation wide.

Regular Contributor

Where did this info come from?
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@tackless1 wrote:
Where did this info come from?

I assume you are talking to Betty10139?  

I don't have an AARP Medicare plan of any type.

 

But This disclosure is on the Silver Sneakers website

 

SilverSneakers - AARP Silver Sneakers Program

 

The SilverSneakers program is made available as a courtesy by UnitedHealthcare to AARP Medicare Supplement Plan holders insured by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company (UnitedHealthcare) and are not part of insurance coverage and may be discontinued at any time. Availability of the SilverSneakers program varies by plan/market. AARP does not endorse and is not responsible for the services or information provided by this program.

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Periodic Contributor

at the cost of BCBS plans it is not a courtesy   it should be included 

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Periodic Contributor

RE: AARP dropping Silver ZZSneakers 1/1/18:

Yes, and when I called about it the rep gave me false information.

She claimed Silver Sneakers is no longer offered in Texas as if it is dropped on the Silver Sneakers end. It is actually AARP / UHC cutting benefits.

 

I am very disappointed and looking at other options.

Regular Contributor

The simple answer:
Silver Sneakers is a perk from United Health Care probably from way back as a sales tool. Just as your coverage has nothing to due with AARP, neither does SS. It is in the fine print somewhere that they don't have to continue providing these added benefits.  There is really nothing that we can do as it appears that UHC is stopping SS on all their plans not just our J plan.  What do we do, threaten to cancel a plan that they undoubtedly want to get read of anyway.  Time to move on.

Regular Contributor

The economic value of of SS is somewhere between $150 and $700 per year depending on which which athletic facility you choose. This value is not simply a "perk", it is part of the value equation which UHC has chosen to abandon. Perhaps AARP members should choose to abandon UHC and question why AARP has elected to continue to promote UHC when they have so profoundly snubbed our membership.

Periodic Contributor

Of course United Health Care does not have to continue the Silver Sneakers benefit. But, I see Humana is still including it at least in some of their plans. 

Newbie

And so is Aetna.
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Newbie

And so is Aetna.

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Odd that Silver Sneakers does not appear to have a list of insurance companies that have this benefit.  The only thing I can find on their web site is the ability to check whether or not my current company provides membership.  I'd like to know before I pick my next insurance company.  Did I miss something?

Newbie

I found the list of providers on a drop down menu on Silver Sneakers. I'm upset also about this drop in service! I like Zumba at one gym and water aerobics at another. This has me fuming!
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@tackless1 wrote:

Odd that Silver Sneakers does not appear to have a list of insurance companies that have this benefit.  The only thing I can find on their web site is the ability to check whether or not my current company provides membership.  I'd like to know before I pick my next insurance company.  Did I miss something?


Like the other poster today said, you have to check with the insurers and personally,nInwould get it in writing.

 

However, then you have to check every year for continued coverage because it is a special benefit and is not required by Medicare to be a benefit.

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Well, after a little more digging I found a tab on the SS web site that takes you to the companies that have SS (this doesn't mean it's in the individual companies plan everywhere).  On this page you have to select your state.

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

 

I did miss something?  I never gave it a thought that moving from one Medicare Plan to another would invoke PRECONDITIONS!!!. 

 

Right now my premium is $201 and will jump to about $240 next year.  This is what I got from agents at both UHC and USAA.  If I change my plan from J to F I first would loose the "early enrollment discount" of 12% you get for signing up at 65.   Because I have a precondition (they only count one thank God, I have 5) my premium would jump from $201 a month to about $310.  With the increases next year it would jump to about $350.  I was told that preconditions are not determined by Medicare in the plans, but by each insurance company.  What a ridiculous way for the government to set this up.  I do have to give five stars to the agents that I talked to at both companies because at the end they all said I was better off staying where I am (you think!).

 

Even without preconditions, the F plan would only be about  $15 dollars  less than my current monthly payment.  At my age of  73, F $185, current J $210.  Not worth changing in my opinion considering the complexity of the decision to be made and F is going out in 2020.

 

As to Silver Sneakers.  Their agent said that  my UHC plan is listed for next year and he thought that was good.  Like all the info on the web, "Trust But Verify"

 

 

 


@GailL1 wrote:

@tackless1 wrote:

Odd that Silver Sneakers does not appear to have a list of insurance companies that have this benefit.  The only thing I can find on their web site is the ability to check whether or not my current company provides membership.  I'd like to know before I pick my next insurance company.  Did I miss something?


Like the other poster today said, you have to check with the insurers and personally, I would get it in writing.  Good luck with that!!

 

However, then you have to check every year for continued coverage because it is a special benefit and is not required by Medicare to be a benefit.  Unless it is in the contract, I think in all probability insurers can cancell this any time they want to.


      

Newbie

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

You can type your state and the plans are listed.

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Regular Contributor

Thanks! Your link to the SS web site was very helpful. In Oklahoma, UHC has dropped SS for all their offering except the Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans. The same is true of Blue Cross, Coventry and Humana. I will have to explore that option and figure out if the coverage is as good as my Part B plan F coverage plus Part D.

Regular Contributor
Honored Social Butterfly

@CRTSR

 

On the Silver Sneakers website -'sorry, I thought that was the place where you were looking but remember this is a special benefit not covered by law so it could come and go with plans - yes, it would be best if it were in the contract.  And good luck with that - it seems to be more of a selling tool.

 

Medicare issues rules as to when people can switch plans without going through Medical underwriting.  They are called Guaranteed issue rights and are described on this page of the Medicare website.

Medicare.gov - Guaranteed Issue Rights

 

Medicare describes switching Medigap policies here

Medicare.gov -'Switching Medigap policies

 

Medigap policies are private insurance Supplemental policies - people who choose traditional Medicare don't have to have one - it is not required, in fact, a lot of people do not have them.  Since they are a supplemental plan, all Medicare stipulates is what benefits are covered and how by the various plans and when one can get a supplemental plan without medical underwriting as governed by the Guaranteed issue rules.

 

Since these are private insurance plans, the insurers can set their own prices for each of the plans and determine medical underwriting.  They can set their prices in a variety of ways.  The insurance companies, unless you have guaranteed issue rights, can even deny you coverage for a Medigap plan.

 

Medicare.gov - Cost of Medigap policies

 

It is good that you are weighing your options, we all need to do that occasionally.

Sorry that Medicare isn't all that you expected it to be -

 

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Periodic Contributor

Contact an insurance agent and they can tell you which plans have the benefit.

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Newbie

But not for long!
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Silver Sneakers is being removed from AARP Medicare plans, at least in Michigan, as of January 1 2017.  What a shame.  They're replacing it with a 50% discount at some fitness centers.

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I belong to Silver Sneakers through my Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance through my employer; I am now retired. I have a friend who has her's through AARP, and is happy with it. Your problem seems to be local choices. There are many choices if you are willing to go out of your locale. I have 3 choices in my town of Round Rock, TX including Fitness 19 (where I go), Gold's Gym, and a 24-hour gym whose name I can't remember. AARP or United Health needs to vet these gyms because they are paying for your use of the facility. I wouldn't go where you described either. Hope you find a solution.
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Honored Social Butterfly

I have New West Medicare Basic Plan. With the plan I get membership to a gym under their "Silver&Fit health club membership". Last year it was included in the plan at no cost.... the plan ..."New West" cost me $25 a month...in 2016 there is a annual fee of $50 for the Silver&Fit membership. The cost of the New West plan is going up to $36.50 a month .... a great deal for me as it has great coverage that Medicare does not cover....not a good deal for taxpayers.

Of course I will also pay &110.50 a month for Medicare.

Silver Sneakers ... sounds a lot like my Silver&Fit.


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noniet01, I live in So Oregon and pay for the highest Regence Medadvantage Part C & D. They offer Silver Sneakers and only covers, "Curves" & has no pool, around 600 sf & no one to help with equipment. With Chondo Chondritis my Dr has prescribed me to swim, for low impact Stretching. Silver Sneakers doesn't even cover YMCA with this expensive MEDICARE Advantage PPO $246.00 out of pocket per month. I need Club Northwest Gym that's clean and huge with a saltwater long length pool, perfect for my illnesses, Agoraphobic (not a lot of people around) & my Chondritis, Diabetes Neuropathy, Back pain, Chronic Pain.The best insurances stink when it comes to us needing excersize. Curves is just equipment that Seniors don't get help how to use in Rogue River, OR 97537. Curves is to tone & build muscle not help with I'll Disabled and/or Seniors. Insurance should at least pay up to 75% for a Drs Script on what kind of excersize we need and the club that has it within 20 miles round trip. I'm just so furious, they will end up paying more in health problems, Surgeries, etc. STUPID & IGNORANCE in MEDICARE Insurances!
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I am moving to Florida and United Health care don't support Silver Sneakers there. I just joined a wonderful YMCA only to find out that as soon as I become a resident I will lose it.AARP should bring some pressure on United Health care to include this in all states, not just a select few.
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MAYBE IF EVERYBODY WOULD SWITCH TO HUMANA INSURANCE, UNITED HEALTHCARE WOULD WAKE UP AND RECONSIDER OFFERING THE SILVER SNEAKERS PLAN.

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I live in Alabama and have been enjoying a free membership at the YMCA which is a wonderful gym and pool for the last 2 years.  I just got a letter from AARP (United Healthcare) saying they were no longer going to offer Silver Sneakers in Alabama.  I'm really upset that they are so ignorant not to realize the preventative health care is well worth their paying for gym memberships.   Humana Supplementary Insurance does support the Silver Sneakers program here in my city so I'm seriously thinking about switching over to them!