Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 431 of 693
AARP, you've got a bursting public relations problem. Regarding UHC discontinuing support for the Silver Sneakers program, members are NOT being told that UHC has discontinued support. They are being told that AARP is no longer supporting the Silver Sneakers program. There was a sign at the check in desk at my local gym stating that "Effective January 1st, AARP is discontinuing support for the Silver Sneakers program". To top that off, I received a letter from my local pharmacy informing me that effective January 1st, they would no longer accept the "Medicare Drug Plan from AARP". Wake Up AARP. You made the choice to sell rights to your name to the highest bidder. Now that decisions is coming back to haunt you. I am 69 years old and will no longer continue with either the AARP-UHC Supplemental Plan, nor the AARP-UHC Part D Drug Plan. This is not a 'choice'. I have none. Your decision has driven me away from AARP.
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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 432 of 693

@TimS81111 wrote:

After AARP was not able to get an agreement with UHC to continue Silver Sneakers. I looked at other insurance options and decided to enroll with Kaiser. 

It may have been some 25 year old just out of business school who won’t be on Medicare for years that made the suggestion to drop Silver Sneakers. Just showed me that AARP is just looking out at their bottom line. 


That is your choice to change plans, abeit with all the Medicare rules and policy details considered.

 

AARP has no say on the design of the policies; they aren't insurance experts.  AARP only gives UHC the branding rights to their name - they receive royalties based on the use of that trademarked name - AARP.  AARP says they use these funds for general purposes.

 

Under only some types of these Medicare plans do you even have to be a member of AARP to obtain (enroll in) a policy.  Then once you have the policy (like a AARP UHC Medicare Supplemental Policy) you can drop your membership in AARP - 

 

https://www.aarpmedicareplans.com/disclaimer.html#/article_mededaccordion1

 

Most likely it was UHC thinking that they could take on this health and fitness benefit themselves and make some money from it.  They are not required to cover anything extra under the Medigap plans - anything extra there is purely for marketing purposes - to get you to choose their plan rather than another insurers Medigap plan - since the plans are ALL the SAME.

 

Coverage for any extra benefit in a Medicare Advantage plan can be changed on a yearly basis since there is annual enrollment so everybody better continue to review these plans yearly and not assume that they are the same as the one the year before - deductibles can change, copays can change, provider networks can change, drug formularies can change, any extra benefit can 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 433 of 693

After AARP was not able to get an agreement with UHC to continue Silver Sneakers. I looked at other insurance options and decided to enroll with Kaiser. 

It may have been some 25 year old just out of business school who won’t be on Medicare for years that made the suggestion to drop Silver Sneakers. Just showed me that AARP is just looking out at their bottom line. 

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 434 of 693

@mb91334200 wrote:

. . . . Basically all of the Medicare Part B supplemental programs, within a class (A, B., C, D, etc.), are the same.  Only cost differs amoung the various providers.  I will probably be converting to another Part B provider in 2019.  . . . . 


Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) plans are NOT just Part B coverage.  They are GAP coverage which fills in your cost somewhat, based on the plan chosen, between what traditional Medicare pays and what is the beneficiaries out of pocket responsibility in Part A and Part B.  The picking up of Part B by a beneficiary is a timing designation by Medicare (CMS ) for determining the initial guaranteed issue period and to financially penalize one if they don't Part B coverage when they are required to do so. 

 

Exert caution if you want to change plans if you do not have guaranteed issue rights based on Medicare rules.  Outside these specific circumstances, an insurer can underwrite you - meaning charge you more because of any health related problems - they can also deny coverage for specific medical conditions for a specific amount of time.

 

Some states may give additional circumstances when you can change insurers without any adverse circumstances.

 

Also be careful in the way the various insurers rate policies - there is a difference between

  • (1) Community rates
  • (2) Attained Age.
  • (3) Issue Age

ratings so just make sure you are comparing apples to apples because some policy premium increases within these realms may be felt later rather than sooner.   

 

Working with a Medicare Insurance broker or a KNOWLEDGABLE  S.H.I.P. representative can help you to avoid any pitfalls.

 

READ YOUR "MEDICARE AND YOU" BOOKET - everybody should.

 

 

 


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

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Message 435 of 693

I referred a friend to UH due to the Silver Sneaker program.  She advised that UC would not provide access in 2019.  I called and received the same response that you did.  The Silver Sneaker representative has only heard from clients that UH has decided not to continue access in 2019.  Personally, I changed from Mutual of Omaha to UH due to this perk - it was the only way that UH differentiated itself.  Basically all of the Medicare Part B supplemental programs, within a class (A, B., C, D, etc.), are the same.  Only cost differs amoung the various providers.  I will probably be converting to another Part B provider in 2019.  Believe that if most of the AARP members would do the same, we might be able to find a provider that will/can differentiate itself.  Side note - perhaps the AARP should look at alternatives unless they are receiving lucrative kick-backs for their endorsement.

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 436 of 693

Totally agree with and sympathize.  This is exactly what our Recreation Center said.  They felt that Silver Sneakers at least brought in new people who otherwise wouldn’t come to the Rec Center.  In many cases, these new people would take some extra classes and recommend family and friends to join making participation worth their while.  

 

With the new program, however, they would not even be reimbursed the other 50%.  UHC, in other words, doesn’t pay anything.  For them it is a win win proposition.  I have no idea why anyone would participate.

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 437 of 693

I feel the need to chime into this conversation, so forgive me if I sound negative.  I am the owner of a small fitness center and while I respect that insurance companies are interested in helping their clients lead a more healthy life by offering free or reduced fees for a gym membership, often times people don't realize what a difficult position this puts gym owner's in.  The big box gyms have a larger population to support such a program, but for small business owners it is not the solution to attracting more members.  They receive such a small stipend for each person per visit (less than $4) and the member is limited by the number of visits (as in Silver Sneakers) per month of up to10 visits, which in my case would  be ridiculous because I have members who come 5/6 days a week - so the owner ends up eating the extra visits.  And now with the change to the United Healthcare Plan of offering their members 50% discount on a monthly membership fee and a reduced (?) sign up fee, that does nothing to support their bottom line.  Again, this is a wonderful concept but the poor business owner ends up trying to make ends meet and/or going out of business.  Fortunately, I saw the writing on the wall years ago and never signed up but I have seen how other small gyms struggle.  Just wanted to put it out there from the other side of the coin.  

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 438 of 693

I have contacted United Healthcare, AARP and Silver Sneakers. Standard responses from UHC & AARP, all about the great new opportunity to pay 50% of the gym membership instead of getting it free. The Silver Sneakers rep said they have had no official notice of SS being dropped from either UHC or AARP. He said the only knowledge they have has been gained through people calling in to inquire about it.

 

I told him the SS website still shows United as a participant, which is misleading for new people who may be choosing their insurer for 2019. He said they cannot change it without official notice.

 

I asked if there is a way for individuals to join SS, and he said there is not at this time.

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 439 of 693

Bingo!  But that doesn’t mean we need to bow to their greed and say or do nothing.  UHC reported record 3rd quarter earnings yesterday.  I wonder how much their executives are given in bonuses?  

 

Complaining on blogs and other social media, along with filing a formal complaint with Medicare and your State Insurance Commission may not be a waste of time.  Years ago, complaints to the Insurance Commission in our State involving Blue Cross Blue Shiield not paying certain Home Care Costs became a class action suit which was won.  Blue Cross reimbursed those affected. My mother was paid back over $2,000 which at that time was a lot of money.  It took 2 years (my father had passed away) but we had no idea our letter of complaint would lead to a class action suit and success!

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 440 of 693

Yes, Plan F.  I guess it's like all insurance.  You will have to shop the best rate each year for your needs.

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