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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 just started with AARP this year, but one of the reasons I chose the Medicare plan G that I have was that it offered Silver Sneakers for free. Now I hear that you are dropping that program!! Shame on you! I am a retired RN who needs to swim or water walk three days a week. I NEED to be able to do this. I thought that you were trying to help us all stay healthy so that you can save money on illnesses and surgeries. PLEASE rethink this drastic measure and return to Silver Sneaker for 2018

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Sorry to hear it pm4241, but welcome to bait and switch. During my year with United Health Care/AARP in Oklahoma they did the same thing. Big up front promotion about how they want to provide the tools to keep you healthy and active, and once you are onboard they pull the rug right out from under your feet. AARP counts on you naively buying into their story and being too lazy to get up and leave. In our area they offered free or significantly discounted memberships to several different facilities from the YMCA to Planet Fitness through membership in Silversneakers. For an individual that benefit was worth between $165 and $550 per year depending on which facility you chose to use. When you discount that to the cost/value equation of the insurance premium, it means that the $2240 they quoted me for Plan F would be reduced to between $2075 and $1690, again depending on which facility you choose to use. In combination it beat all alternatives including the Medicare Advantage program offered to State of Oklahoma retirees. Like you I realized that I needed to get off my duff and workout on a regular basis. After working with a trainer at the YMCA I was 7 months into a program and had substantially increased range of motion and endurance. I had increased by more than 25 percent the amount of weight I needed to achieve the same heart rate. Along comes the enrollment period for year two and AARP/UHC made no mention of dropping Silversneakers, it simply was not listed in the ancillary benefits portion of the enrollment material, so I started calling. I got a big song and dance routine about how they were replacing it with a 24/7 hotline to a nurse and lots of online material about how to stay healthy. Bottom line, they did not want to pay the fee to Silversneakers based on your utilization of the benefit. Don’t get me wrong, AARP does a lot of good, but when you bring in a greedy dominant insurance company which purchased the right to an exclusive marketing agreement with the largest organization purportedly representing/advocating for seniors the wheels simply fell off the wagon. AARP management saw big dollar signs and forgot who they are supposed to represent.

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I received notice that United Health Care Insurance Company will no longer offer the Silver Sneakers Program in Ohio.

I am on a limited income and this was a valuable benefit that I used weekly! You offer a YMCA discounted membership at a discount of 50% in its place-this will cut into my meager income.

So now you can increase your stock dividend. and your executive compensation with the additional income that this cost saving will provide the company.

Your form letter begins “As you know. at UnitedHealth care, we are committed to providing you with a wide variety of health and wellness services “. You do have a commitment but the commitment is not to my health but to greater profits!

.

.Keith A. Mann

Poland,Ohio

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I'm in Ohio also and my YMCA is not participating.
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AARP was supposed to be an advocate for the elderly.  HA HA United Healthcare has them under their thumb.  Rate increase and loss of benefits. AARP does not need to send me any more petitions to sign nor request another donation.  My donations will now be used to purchase an expensive program at my local pool to allow me to keep working to stay healthy.  More than 35 people attend classes at our pool 3 days a week for one hour.  There are other  Silver Sneakers classes at our pool that are also well attended.  AARP you have lost your reputation.  You have the clout to renew this program.  It's time for you to take action.  Prove your worth.

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@PatriciaA710255 wrote:

AARP was supposed to be an advocate for the elderly. 


Where did you get that mission?  Their own website says "AARP’s mission is to empower people to choose how they live as they age."

 

AARP membership is open to people 50 and over.

Silver Sneakers (Tivity Health) is for those 65 and older -

AARP in joining with Tivity Health (parent company to the Silver Sneakers program) in the flip50 Program now has a fitness, wellness, rest, recovery and nutrition progrogram which I guess AARP believes  to be a better fit for all of their membership (50 and older)

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"AARP believes to be a better fit" ??

1st month free?? Then what?? I've heard nothing from either AARP nor UHC on the subject, other than Silver Sneakers is history.
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Somehow, Silver Sneaker programs are state by state. For example, Delaware does not do them. A YMCA in Illinois said it did not accept because of the paperwork.

 

I found out by chance that AARP/United.. is reducing 50% come January, but I have not been officially notified. Neither my gym nor Silver Sneakers have been notified.

 

I am afraid your chlorine cloud is the result of dirty bodies and pool pee which changes the chemical make up of the pool chlorine.

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@jh5231035 wrote:

"Somehow, Silver Sneaker programs are state by state."

 

Thats because insurance is regulated by each state so an insurance company could have a different policy contract state by state.


Notice the word in red, this is key I believe.  Silver Sneakers is not in the insurance contract.  It is an extra feature that is provided for by the insurance company and can be withdraw at any time.  This was in the information we got when we signed up for the insurance, albeit in small print no doubt.  I'm not a lawyer but I believe it is generally true that if it ain't in the contract, it ain't enforceable.Smiley Sad



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@CRTSR wrote:

 


@jh5231035 wrote:

"Somehow, Silver Sneaker programs are state by state."

 

Thats because insurance is regulated by each state so an insurance company could have a different policy contract state by state.


Notice the word in red, this is key I believe.  Silver Sneakers is not in the insurance contract.  It is an extra feature that is provided for by the insurance company and can be withdraw at any time.  This was in the information we got when we signed up for the insurance, albeit in small print no doubt.  I'm not a lawyer but I believe it is generally true that if it ain't in the contract, it ain't enforceable.Smiley Sad




I wonder if that has ever been legally tested on this type of extra benefit in a Medicare plan?

I can understand how they can add or drop benefits like this, meaning an extra benefit outside of the Medicare stipulated coverage, in Medicare Advantage plans because you have to annually re-up each year with the same company or choose a different Medicare Advantage plan.

 

But this is not usually the case in (traditional) Medicare with a Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) plan and this extra benefit was/is included as an incentive when a beneficiary 1st signs up.  Under the Medicare rules for a Medicare supplemental plan (Medigap), the only way they can drop a beneficiary is because they failed to pay their premiums.  You cannot easily switch, if at all,  a Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) plan after the initial guaranteed issue.  Some people stay with the same Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) plan and issurer for their whole time in Medicare. 

 

To me, this should assume that the plan (Supplemental/Medigap), including any extra benefit(s) offered is all inclusive and final.  Again IMO, but by including it ( this extra benefit) in the purchased package of a Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) plan, it seem to infer that it should be there for the long haul.

 

 

 

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In the litigious society we live in, I can't imagine this would have escaped the lawyers.  I have been in this program for 9 years and don't remember any legal action reported.  Of course I am in Virginia and we still have Silver Sneakers so I could have missed it.

 

Again, I think it comes down to contract law which in my experience can be pretty rigid.

 

Ron

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You still have SS with UHC for next year?
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I live in Ohio and have been with AARP/United Healthcare for two years. I receive monthly calls from a wellness nurse on their behalf. I do not know if this program is part of United Healthcare or if it is sourced out to them.

 

In conversation, I was asked about falls. I said that my gym's fitness coach was working on my coordination and balance, as well as strength and diet. She then told me that the Silver Sneakers support would drop 50% as of January. Some reasoning about how it would result in more businesses taking it. (Seen that before. That translates as a company getting rid of a service because we want to pay upper management another bonus.)

 

I was naturally upset. I have less than a month to change insurance provider. My gym, which has certifications and programs for the elderly, had not been notified. I called Silver Sneakers to ask what they knew. They had not been notified.

 

Yes, I was grateful for my insurance company when I had an unexpected serious illness. But my gym is the only way I am able to maintain my health, thus saving the insurance company money re the heart procedures and falls and hospitalizations that have not happened.

 

I will email my insurance broker today to see if there is an insurance company that better fits my needs. Unfortunately, cut-backs of services often signal trends in like companies. 

 

 

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My disability is the result of bilateral neuropathy. I am limted as to what I can do with my hands, arms, and wrists. I never was an 'exercise" person, but after 3 plus years of post surgical recovery and pain, I have lost the muscle tone I had. I don't know how to exercise, nor how to do so without injuring myself and causing damage to my hands, arms, and wrists. Physcial therapy when it was prescribed, didn't address this at all. 

 

After my waiting period, I have  been on Medicare since May 2017. I was told by the insurance people that I would be getting a Silver Sneakers card. It has never arrived. I have called them to follow up several times with no luck. They suggested that even without it the local gyms in our small town would honor it with my Medicare card. 

 

Adding to the above, I am 58, shy, been sitting at home alone with little to do and little interaction, so I am embarassed because I don't now how to dress, act, behave in a gym. No one teaches us these things in life. Trying to explain to people my situaiton when from an outside perspective I look fine, is very difficult. Additionally,  I was assaulted in November outside my home, which made me even more aware of how much strength I have lost throughout my body.

 

My 2nd problem is even if I made it to the gym and got past the questions (what do I wear, do I take a shower there, how do I obtain a locker, do I need my own lock, is it permanenty assigned or just using whatever is available the day I do in, what is appropriate for the pool, do I take a shower before using the hot tub or steam room? Do I bring my own towels? and more questions than I can remember at the moment )- --- is there someone qualified to show me how to use the machines and to tell me what I should or shouldn't do when suffering from bilateral neuropathy and limited to 2 lbs lift, push, or pull?

 

I get frustrated trying to get insurance companies to do their thing. Healthnet was taken over by Allwell who changed our ID numbers. I had eye surgery scheduled since December for last week and just got my Medicare card with the new number information (it took 3 calls a week for 5 weeks, each week being told it was in the mail). I will have to call my insurance agent again for them to call Allwell, and hope that I get a card before the program is cancelled. 

 

My understanding is I have the choice of several gyms. Having no experience in this, I don't even know what to look for or what questions to ask past the ones above on general gym behaviour. Because of the condition and severe insomnia, committed dates and times are real difficult for me. So I am probably better off initially figuring out a routine using equipment, with the hope I become comfortable and strong enough that i feel I can join a senior class. 

 

Some of you may say, google for information. But, that is another issue. Using a computer is very limited. 20 minutes, 3x a day. Hard enough just to pay the bills, read emails, check fb for pics of my granddaughter and at least attempt to let friends out of state know I am ok. Computer, phone, tablet, all of it is the same thing. To use one sufficiently just to take care of the necessities takes up my allotment and doing more means additional pain. Until this happened, I never knew a gallon of milk weighed over 8 lbs. or how difficult it can be to open a door. I had to have my door knobs replaced with handles because one week I could not turn the door knobs for 3 days. 

 

I think my point in the end is that for those of you with gym experience and starting from a healthy position, you probably know what to do. For people like me, no experience and dealing with a very limiting disability, I wish there was a guide providing of all these things. They do all those how to pick your doctor, what to expect from your doctor's office, how to talk with you doctor - I need a similar brochure for the gym. 

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@lizlizzie2wrote:

 

 

I think my point in the end is that for those of you with gym experience and starting from a healthy position, you probably know what to do. For people like me, no experience and dealing with a very limiting disability, I wish there was a guide providing of all these things. I need a similar brochure for the gym. 


Here ya go: http://healthandstyle.com/fitness/gym-guide-for-beginners/

 

Best regards,

Epster

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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thank you

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Nice input, Epster! That link will probably help many who are new and just beginning to get acquainted with gym activity/ettiquette. It's also a quick and easy read. Very considerate of you . 🙂
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How come the front page of the AARP magazine did say, "The Silver Sneaker Program has been dropped by AARP." 

 

I did not receive a darn thing about the drop--I would have moved to another provider.

 

AARP does not represent me today or tomorrow.

 

Please stop sending any and all paper from AARP to me in the mail. Since I HAD to join AARP to use SS--I would like a refund. 

 

SHAME ON YOU!

 

Happy New Year

Newbie

#hopedalehospital #hopedalewellnesscenter in Hopedale Illinois will stop accepting #silversneakers. #unitedhealthcare will not do anything to prevent it.

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janeth87473

The hospital and wellness center are private companies that made a business decision to drop SS.  United Healthcare, another private company, along with others made the business decision to drop SS in some (maybe eventually all) states.  AARP is being paid by whatever insurance company has the best deal for the association and with only a handful of the many insurance companies with SS anyway, not much competition.  Medicare has nothing to do with this because SS is not a requirement in any of the gov. plans.

 

So, unless you want to write your congressman to ask that a fitness program be mandated in medicare (good luck with that), there's really not much to be done.

 

We are beating a dead horse.  Time to move on to something else more productive.

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Yes, and I made a business decision to drop United Healthcare (and the associated kickback to AARP). I gave these clowns $1836 in premiums and the value of the SS benefit was between $120 and $710 depending on which fitness facility I choose to use in my area. You clearly do not understand the economics of health care. Healthier seniors (those who exercise) cost less to insure. Lower costs should lead to either richer benefits or lower premiums. It works well in most ot Eruope and Canada. SS and United Healthcare paid FAR less than retail for this benefit but got greedy inspite of balooning dividends for investors and bigger pay checks for executives. I did not beat a dead horse, I voted with my wallet. Loosing my $1836 + 6% will not break the bank for either AARP or UHC, but I got the same value for less money with a broker.

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bk66969647
An you are still here then why?
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Because, unlike defeatists and absolutists, I will continue to speak out and attempt to reform the organization which purports to represent me. Compensation structure for the leaders at AARP is not closely linked to the service or satisfaction of its membership. They function largely in a vacume with little real competition for our eyes or the many millions of dollars that are paid by vendors who want those eyes to feather their own nests. Perhaps, rather than preemptively declaring defeat and resigning the field, you might use your considerable "bronze" platform to effect change - or perhaps you are among those seeking a quiet, contented group of cattle as followers.

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I find it very upsetting that the Silver Sneakers program or multi state/ multi gym -pool programs are NOT offered by the AARP United Healthcare Medigap company.

I have no problems with Denise Austin doing AARP online recommendations etc but these are available easily online. What a waste.  

 

What I need and want is AARP supporting me in true exercise ---- I know others want this too.  I'm just turning 65 in January and am shocked that this is not available.

 

Exercise and diet are the most important components of health.  I am pushed more when I exercise in a group or in a gym. I also enjoy the company and motivation of fellow participants.  At  58 I cycled across America and at 60 I completed an Ironman Distance event (HITS) in Ocala.  I am very lucky as I continue to swim, ski, bike. My husband is 71 and I cannot keep up with him. We work hard to keep in this shape.  I believe there are more of us aging people that need more than arm push-ups while popping popcorn.  I realize that some day I will not be physically able to do as much as I do now but if I don't have gym/pool access now to keep up my core strength etc this will change sooner than later and will cost insurance more.  

 

How do we get this changed?

 

Are there others who feel the same way?

 

We need great facilities--- not moldy, overcrowded facilities.

 

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j383602c

I'm with you 100%!!! I, too, have always been active. But, although I faithfully hit the treadmill and do a weight routine three days a week - on top of all my other non-stop landscape/yard maintenance, I still require assistance for core strength that cannot be accomplished at home. I feel safer in a monitored setting with professionals present, and am more motivated by the social interaction that exists in such settings. It IS work! But, I rationalize that my payoff is the physiologic health I'm able to sustain. Having just turned 65, I am well aware that unless I make an effort to use it, I'll lose it (muscle mass, that is). You're so right...exercise and a nutritional diet are the cornerstones of good health. And, that's exactly what provides the cost-savings for the insurers. The reason they've started pulling these programs away is because, statistically, the only members who seem to take advantage of them are those who are already relatively healthy and fit (predominantly). Thus, it is not so much of a cost savings in the long run. Instead of penalizing and jeopardizing healthy members, I feel more needs to be done to get those marginal members and others who truly need supervised assistance into the gyms/pools on a regular basis so benefits can be realized by all stakeholders.
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kk6758 - I agree. I wish I had that assistance.

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j383602c (11-15-2017)         Re: Silver Sneakers One size does not Fit All

 

I'm with you 100%!!!  I, too, have always been active.   But, although I faithfully hit the treadmill and do a weight routine three days a week - on top of all my other non-stop landscape/yard maintenance, I still require assistance for core strength that cannot be accomplished at home.  I feel safer in a monitored setting with professionals present, and am more motivated by the social interaction that exists in such settings. It IS work!  But, I rationalize that my payoff is the physiologic health I'm able to sustain.  Having just turned 65, I am well aware that unless I make an effort to use it, I'll lose it (muscle mass, that is).  You're so right...exercise and a nutritional diet are the cornerstones of good health.  And, that's exactly what provides the cost-savings for the insurers.  The reason they've started pulling these programs away is because, statistically, the only members who seem to take advantage of them are those who are already relatively healthy and fit (predominantly). Thus, it is not so much of a cost savings in the long run.  Instead of penalizing and jeopardizing healthy members, I feel more needs to be done to get those marginal members and others who truly need supervised assistance into the gyms/pools on a regular basis so benefits can be realized by all stakeholders.   

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I also feel we have been cheated that Silver Sneaker has been taken from us Seniors. We pay higher premiums than any of my family and friends only to get less not more for Seniors. Please bring back  the Silver Sneaker Program!!!!

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Switched my wife to the Mutual of Omaha supplement plan. It does not include siver sneakers either, but saved her enough money to get three gym memberships. 

 

Switching might not be an option if you have pre-existing conditions. I switcher from plan F to plan G. Worse case, she will save a thousand dollars per year. 

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robertc193036

G plan is lower than F.  What did you have to give up?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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