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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 621 of 638

@MaryL1957 wrote:
I was told the facility which is my community recreation center would take Optum Fitness and I would continue getting my classes for free. I previously had Silver Sneakers. However, when I went to get my card I was told the facility will take Optum but I am no longer able to go to my classes (Silver Sneaker classes) for free. I was totally mislead when I signed up and that makes me very upset.

Here is the November 2017 announcement on the Optum Fitness Advantage program available to individual Medicare Advantage members in some states.

 

Star Tribune 11.06.2017'- UnitedHealth Group enters senior fitness market race.

 

Things "told" sometimes get miscommunicated especially since this is a very new progra

To double check what you have been told, put your location into the Optum Fitness Advantage participating fitness participants and see which facilities come up.  

 

That location should offer the things covered in the agreement which they have with United Health Group.  From the press release, it says:

 

In Minnesota, UnitedHealthcare doesn't currently sell Medicare Advantage plans, so the news won't impact subscribers here. The new Optum program gives Medicare Advantage customers in states like Arizona and Texas access to a large network of participating fitness centers.

 

"Plan participants will have access to the same services, privileges, classes and programs as the fitness centers' standard members, including waiver of all enrollment fees," UnitedHealthcare said Monday in a statement announcing the program.

 

This is exactly what the agreement says to participating facilities.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/gfit-omas/public/files/2/Gym_Informational_Flyer.pdf

 

There is also a place on the Optum Fitness Advantage website where you can ask them to solicite a particular facility to enroll in the program.

 

Perhaps the class which you want isn't part of the standard membership .

If that is the case, and this class was something specific to your previous Silver Sneakers plan and since there is now more competition in this senior fitness program, before you switch back to another Medicare Advantage plan still offering 

the Silver Sneakers program, you should make sure that their plan hasn't changed too.

 

These fitness programs are an extra benefit - not one that is mandated by Medicare - so they can change, modify, stop at will unless it is specifically covered in the ANNUAL Medicare Advantage plans benefit description disclosure and then it is only an annual benefit.

 

If this is an important part of the coverage you desire in a Medicare health plan, check it out at the annual open enrollment.

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 622 of 638
I was told the facility which is my community recreation center would take Optum Fitness and I would continue getting my classes for free. I previously had Silver Sneakers. However, when I went to get my card I was told the facility will take Optum but I am no longer able to go to my classes (Silver Sneaker classes) for free. I was totally mislead when I signed up and that makes me very upset.
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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 623 of 638

@MaryL1957

 

This sort of benefit for either of the programs limits their coverage to "Participating facilities".  

 

Have you determined which facilities take the Optum Fitness Advantage program in your area?  Most likely the facilities differ between the two programs.

 

Optum Fitness Advantage

This website will allow you to find a participating facility.

 

BTW, Optum Fitness, OptumRX, AARP United Healthcare Medicare Advantage, AARP Medicare Supplemental plans, any United Healthcare plan are ALL part of the United Health Group - they are just subsidiaries of the same overall business.

AARP just partners with this group, as well as others, to offer benefits to their Members and AARP does get money for this relationship.

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 624 of 638

I had Silver Sneakers with my old plan.  I switched to United Health Care AARP Medicare Advantage Plan and was told Optum Fitness is replacing Silver Sneakers.  So I was very worried about this but was assured that it would cover the same things as Silver Sneakers.  Well I had my 4th back surgery and I use the aqua therapy classes that I have used for year with my Silver Sneakers Plan.  When I went in a week ago to sign up for the new Optum I was told I can use the classes but now have to pay for them.  I was told they are only free for the Silver Sneakers people.  And the nice woman at our city Recreation Center told me that the Optum people were told that we cannot use the classes.  So I was totally mislead when I changed my plan.  And there is nothing I can do until open enrollment.  If they are staying with Optum and not going back to Silver Sneakers I will no longer stay with this plan.  So terribly disappointed that I was lied to by the person selling me this plan.  

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 625 of 638

@Sushi4334wrote:

Thanks for the suggestion but I checked and there's nothing within an hour's drive of us that Optum Fitness covers


Sorry - Please do remember that this is an EXTRA benefit from the insurers, if they give it.  It is not a Federal requirement that they give it (HA - "give") at all and with that, the insurer can still change it at anytime unless it is in the contract - The ones that I have seen are NOT in the actual contract rather it is used as an inticement - and advertized as such.

 

If it is a priority to have it, perhaps this should be a priority when you are signing up for a Medicare Advantage plan -You can change your Medicare Advantage plan every year during open enrollment in order to continue the program - unless they cancel it mid-year, which they still could. 

 

It is like any other network which insurers have to build - the insurer has to find providers that will work with the insurers price/payment structure for the benefit, in this case an extra benefit..   

 

I would not change a Medigap plan just to get it unless there are some special consideration which would work in the beneficiary's favor and not against them, which could be the case with a Medigap plan change.

 

 

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 626 of 638

Thanks for the suggestion but I checked and there's nothing within an hour's drive of us that Optum Fitness covers

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 627 of 638

@Sushi4334

See if you can type in your address on their website to search for a participating location -

United Healthcare"s Optum® Fitness Advantage

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 628 of 638

May 2018, we live in **bleep** but moved to MA for the summer, trying to sign up at a local YMCA but they don't recognize "Optum Fitness Advantage". We have the AARP Medicare Advantage program run by United Healthcare.

 

Even though the United Healthcare woman on the phone tried her best, she really didn't know that (as it appears) United has actually switched companies, not just program names, and the whole system is different. And, at least the Y we're trying to join does not recognize Optum Fitness Advantage nor the confirmation numbers we were given by United to sign in, in lieu of the old Silver Sneakers ID card.

 

BTW, although another comment had suggested you could just get your card directly from Silver Sneakers, I just checked my eligibility there and I'm no longer in their system. We had used Silver Sneakers benefit for several years at our local gym in **bleep** and were grateful for it.

 

To AARP: it looks as if United is trying to cheap out of giving its members a decent fitness club benefit. Since your name is on this plan, I'm hoping you'll stand up for your members and demand at least the benefits we enjoyed under the Silver Sneakers program. Keeping fit does in fact keep many of us from expensive (for insurance companies as well as us) poor health; why not encourage it for real and not just give lip service, which it seems that "Optum Fitness Advantage" actually is?

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 629 of 638

Wow.  Not a good business practice.  I have only been a member of the UnitedHealthCare plan for less than a month and I am already planning on switching to Aetna.  Aetna does have the Silver Sneaker program.  I want nothing to do with anything tied to Optum.  Check the thread on Optum RX as well as other information\reviews of Optum RX on the internet.  Read the thousands of complaints and info on several class action lawsuits involving United, Cigna and Optum.  Also, goverment reviewing some practices for possible criminal activities.  Does AARP really want to be associated with such companies.  I have be going through Hell with my first mail ordrer prescription submitted by my doctor.  No more.  Can't wait for the open enrollment period to get here.

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 630 of 638

Good news: United Healthcare is still offering the benefit - but they are useing a new vedor: Optum Fitness Advantage. To sign up, go to their website: fitnessadvantage.optum.com 

 

I just found this out by calling United Healthcare. They were sweet and helpful - but I complained that they should have notified us of the change!

 

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