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Regular Contributor

Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

I guess like all who have the "silver sneakers" card will become another worthless trash item.

United Health Care will discontinue your membership starting 1/1/18.

I am glad I went and purchased my own gym since but it is my guess that many others

do not have the money or the room for it like I do.

I had been using mine for treadmill and sauna during the cold times. the rest of the year i was

wlaking locally or golf course walking and swinging.

 

I think AARP might just search out another insurance company....as I might do on my own.....

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Contributor

I am now looking in to other supplemental plans since AARP has decided to drop silver sneakers.  Your letter letting everyone know about this was very deceptive.  You are not doing us a favor by giving us a 50% reduction at places that we often could join for free.  Our local YMCA are free with silver sneakers as is our local JCC.  Other plans offer silver sneakers and are the same price as AARP.  I thought you were working for, not against, seniors.

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Contributor

Well the UHC insured folks that I work out with at several gyms, are really upset. Those of us who seriously try to take care of our good health are being penalized and from UHC’s perspective, the healthy ones may be leaving UHC and the “not so healthy ones” will be their remaining insured. The UHC bean counters may be running the wrong numbers. And considering AARP’s constant promotion of good senior health, I am surprised they continue to endorse UHC. It’s all about money, I suppose.

 

That said I suggest to all those that are affected and are seriously upset by UHC's decision to write  their congressmen. Perhaps with a little political pressure, and some from AARP, UHC may reconsider their rather poor decision.

Honored Social Butterfly

Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Check into another insurance company...most states have more than one. In my small population state we have several companies to chose from.
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Newbie

Very disappointed in this article.  Makes me concerned about maintaining my expensive F plan with United Healthcare.  Certainly there are other less expensive options.  I make extensive use of my Silver Sneakers option and don't want another "50% gym costs" added to my already expensive insurance costs.

Regular Contributor

I haven’t seen a reply from an AARP representative explaining this decision. Do they still  endorse United Healthcare or are they looking into alternatives?  Are they listening?  Where are you AARP?  Do you really care about Seniors and their health?  We shall see........

Regular Contributor

I chose UHC over my husband's objections because I thought the AARP endorsement meant something. Plus, I could justify in my own mind paying a higher premium than he pays because I got a free membership to the local YMCA. I was impressed that UHC promoted wellness by giving members an incentive to exercise. Now they are taking that away and I see no reason not to switch to less expensive coverage. Perhaps I will apply the savings to purchasing more exercise DVDs to use at home. Very disappointed in AARP for not helping us keep this benefit!

Honored Social Butterfly

Eaamon posted..

I think AARP might just search out another insurance company....as I might do on my own.....

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We have Montana BC BS Medicare Advantage and they will continue to have "silver sneakers" in 2019.

We have Gym membership and I do not know of any classes.

The cost of our plan is going up 24%...from $61 a month to $85 a month. The good news is its covering Dental which they did not last year... Dental Services (Non Medicare covered Preventive) "In and Out of Network...You pay $0 copay for up to 2 oral exams per year. This includes up to cleanings a year and 1 X-ray per year".
Regular Contributor

I don't think AARP will do anything.  United Health Care has cut this program in other states in the past and AARP didn't care.  Silver Sneakers hasn't been offered in all 50 states in quite some time via UHC.  They are just finishing off what was already started.

 

I see my primary care doc next week and intend to ask which insurance company in  CA that he thinks is best.  Between him and his billing lady, I should walk out with some good suggestions.  I already have an enrollment appt to make the change.

 

Good luck to you.  I envy your monthly costs - CA is so darn expensive!

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Info Seeker

I am also upset. Tried sending emails. Not only is the cost going up, the locations are extremely limited. I feel we have been betrayed by AARP who claims to be the seniors advocate.  They are willing to sponsor United Healthcare regardless of the negative impact of discontinuing SilverSneakers. The programs being substituted are neither convenient nor affordable. 

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Newbie

Why did you drop silver sneakers this was so great for us seniors most of us can’t afford to buy a membership and have more monthly fees .AARP United health I have always raved about you to others to whom did not gave AARP United Health and have had most of them change . So I’m so sad I will not be able to continue going to the gym yet you want us to stay healthy well this is how we are able to stay healthy. 

 

 

Thank you

Donna Sherman

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Roxanne when you get the recommendations for CA insurance with SS, please share with the group!

Thanks, Chris

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Periodic Contributor

I am joining the chorus for those calling for AARP to stop this plan by United Healthcare to dump Silver Sneakers.  Having to pay 50% to stay in my gym will cost an additional $300 per year on top of the increase United Healthcare has already announced for premiums.  I have contacted Silver Sneakers which gave me a list of other supplemental insurance companies that are continuing to offer Silver Sneakers (here in California that includes Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of CAlifornia, Care First, Humana, and Scan).  Come on AARP, you're suppose to be fighting for us.  Don't let United Healthcare get away with this ... or I, and I am sure a lot of others, will dump you just like you plan to do with Silver Sneakers.  There are too many other insurers who obviously care more about preventative health than United Healthcare.

Newbie

It doesn't appear that all "F" plans are losing this benefit -- shame on United Health Care!  They market with attractive benefits and rates, and then reduce the benefits and consistently raise rates.  AARP needs to re-think their branding and providing Good Housekeeping seal to UHC.  I plan to contact AARP to register a complaint.  

Contributor

I absolutely agree. I have been a member at our local Wellness Center for many years, and now with yet another premium rate increase for 2019, higher drug prices and just about everything else, I may have to discontinue my membership.

Contributor

Very disappointed you are dropping Silver Sneakers.  The main reason I chose AARP supplemental was Silver Sneakers was included which justified the higher price.  Please reconsider.

Newbie

Adding my voice to those who would like AARP to address this with UnitedHealthCare (renegoiate the deal....if our president can do it, why not AARP), as losing the SS benefit would increase our household health care cost (as going to the "Y" is a part of healthcare afterall).

Regular Contributor

Something for the insurance companies to think about:  What makes them different from what would be Medicare for All?  Perks.  Medicare runs a 2% overhead expense.  Private insurance runs 12% - 18% overhead or about $500 billion in overhead.  Somewhere in that $500 billion there surely must be room for a wellness program - namely Silver Sneakers.

 

And instead of you - the insurance company and AARP - deciding which 'exciting' program to offer us - why don't you ask us what we'd prefer?  Multiple choice - apples and apples.

 

Or maybe, when the talk about Medicare for all rolls around again (and it will), we the people, might put pencil and paper to the difference between a tax to pay for it and the cost of our ever rising premiuims for ever diminishing benefits and decide we're tired of the extra $500 billion out of our pockets  I suspect taxes would be less that paying your high salaries! 

 

And shame on you for including a flyer for us, your customers, to take to our gym and promote your new side business.  We don't work for you. You're supposed to work for us!

Regular Contributor

I found the letter particulary annoying as this was framed as an opportunity.  I now take free class at the Senior Center as my instructor is Silver Sneakers certified.  With the new program I would have to join a gym which is quite expensive, also the choices in my area are limited. I have been attending this class for a long time and love it.  Once Silver Sneakers doesn't pick up the cost it will be $50 for every 8 weeks.

 

One of the gyms available is Anytime Fitness.  I once belonged to Anytime.  They will not tell you where equipment is or how to use the equipment unless you hire a $30/hr (back then) personal trainer.  I was constantly badgered to hire one as well as to purchase their weight loss drinks.  

 

That leaves me with a choice of one gym, since the insurance is only picking up half that should be $250.  

 

No thanks to the "opportunity".

Regular Contributor

Since posting my opinion I have done a little research on line and thus far I have found no other companies that just offer supplement insurance.  All the companies I find in this State offer only Medicare Advantage plans. 

 

My only other thought is you would think a health insurers would want its subscribers to participate in a healthy lifestyle.  The reverse is true, you would think they would want to keep those of us that do.  Don't they make more money if people are healthy and make less claims?

Periodic Contributor

If AARP is our representative in this matter, they should either demand that United Health Care include the Silver Sneakers Program for 2019 or endorse a plan that does.

 

I am really afraid that the line between UHC and AARP is so blurred and so much money flows between the two that AARP is no longer our representative. 

 

That is pretty sad.

Periodic Contributor

I am living in Illinois and have been going to the Gottlieb Center for Fitness in Melrose Park.  The Silver Sneakers classes are so full that sometimes not everyone can get to a chair.  There are also a lot of seniors who are not in the class but who use the gym for the aqua classes and the different machines.

Everyone in the class has a smile on his or her face when leaving class..  In addition to the exercise we enjoy the camaradie with each other. 

 

If AARP and United Healthcare drop Silver Sneakers, Gottlieb Center for Fitness will be a ghost town in the mornings.

 

A lot of seniors can't afford a gym membership even at a discount.  Also, the classes teach fall prevention and balance.  If Silver Sneakers is dropped, a lot of people may end up in the hospital.