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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 321 of 651

Actually, I don't think your comment that "supplemental is always community rated" is correct.  Maybe in your state it is?  I know that in California most supplemental policies are rated using age at issue or age attained.  AARP/UHC is one of the only companies that offer community rated policies (at least in my community in California).  Everyone should figure that the Part B Deductible will go up every year as well as the basic Medicare premium and the bump that higher-income people have to pay.  It's amazing to me the differnce in premium prices of the same Medigap Plans by geographic location. 

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 322 of 651
I have a Medicare Advantage plan which was Healthnet and then became Allwell. Under Healthnet there was Silver Sneakers per my agent. Under Allwell, they don't mention it. Our county, we only had once choice for a Medicare Advantage. This year we have a 2nd - Humana. You are correct - I compared plans and 3 of my 5 prescriptions weren't covered (as compared to the 1 out of 6 under Allwell), and my costs for various medical situations including copays, is higher. Overall, if I stay with my current plan as compared to Humana, I could join all 5 gyms in town. I do use an agent - when I first became eligible under disability, I thought I was confused when all I could find was one plan. Ends up I wasn't, but the agent is very good at comparing options and advising me of expected drugs costs for the year. The agent doesn't cost me anything, so it is still one thing under the medicare rules that benefits us.
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Re: Just a Caution about changing plans

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Message 323 of 651

In the county I live in, in Arizona, we only had one choice for a plan which was Healthnet now changed to Allwell. This year there is a 2nd option (Humana) but the costs for meds and other expenses, but especially prescriptions, would cost me more. So it is very important for those who have more options on plans to compare them carefully, byond the premiums. 

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 324 of 651

Thanks for some useful information. In Ohio my independent health advisory insurance company is suggesting Plan G over F as well. F will not be available to new applicants starting in 2020. They are saying G is the same as F except for the $183 deductable and is significantly cheaper. (I do wonder once F is gone how much the deductable will be raised...)Some of the You Tube videos are saying the same thing. One of them showed a graph of how F, G, and N go up as we age. F went up something like 9% and G and N went up 3.5%. I seriously don't know why this has to be so complicated! 

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 325 of 651

Supplemental is always community rated. AARP UHC begins at a discounted rate but as you pass 75 it really increases. It's will be $249 per month each stating in April 2019. It's currently $230 monthly. 

 

They can also deny you coverage based on health and the enrollment period does not apply to supplemental.  For instance, Humana will not cover my wife on any supplemental plan since she  previously had cancer. I'm 77 and my wife is 76 and we will begin Aetna plan G on 1/1/19 to avoid being charged the Part B deductable this year. The premiums are  considerably less than our AARP U HC. The Aetna plan is not a discounted rate.

 

My insurance agent informed me that plan G is cheaper because people have to pay the Part B deductable and won't go to a doctor everytime they have the sniffles.

 

As I previously stated, we're also changing from a AARP UHC Part D to a AARP UHC Medicare RX Walgreen plan which is $1,400 cheaper annually.

 

Total savings for us is a little more than $3,000 annually. 

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 326 of 651

Thanks.  I'm asking because in California, the AARP/UHC Plan F is Community Rated, which I believe is an advantage as we get older (I don't know anything about other states).  Now, because Plan F will not be offered after 1/1/2020, I am thinking that since there will not be any more younger people going into that plan, the premiums may go up quicker as we age.  May be time to rethink and look at Plan G when I get to my Birthday month.  In CA, within 30 days of our Birthday, we can choose a different Medigap Plan with the same or lesser benefits without medical underwriting.  I'm not sure if they can rate you differently than others due to those pre-existing conditions though.  I'm assuming that the Plan G is also Community Rated but have not looked into that yet.  Just trying to think way ahead since I can't do anything during this open enrollment period without penalty for pre-existing conditions.  If I've stated anything materially incorrect, I'd appreciate any comments/corrections.

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 327 of 651

@ChristineS148307

 

I just posted a Consumer Reports article on just this subject

https://community.aarp.org/t5/Medicare-Insurance/HOW-TO-CHOOSE-THE-BEST-MEDIGAP-PLAN-Consumer-Report...

 

and here are some examples from Medicare.gov

Medicare.gov - Cost of Medigap Policies

 

ALL of the plans increase with medical inflation - hard for an individual to have much control there - that's more of a government and industry issue.

 

Also, all states don't dictate that each of these methods have to be used within a state - they may only pick one or two rather than all three for the insurers to use.

 

Personally, I would determine which of these rating methods are available in my state.  

  • Community Rated will probably be the cheapest for the longterm because there would be a constant supply of new enrollees, especially now with the baby boomers coming on board, to help keep premiums lower.
  • Next would be issue-age rated, although it might be more expensive in the beginning, it should be a better value as age creeps up.
  • Last would be Attained age rated because it will creep up as you age - but is probably the cheapest in the beginning.  Over the long term, this is the most expensive because you are hit with not only medical inflation but with an increasing age rated premium.

Then determine what my expected (guess) longevity might be based on familiar traits and my general health and any adverse lifestyle choices.

 

Then pick from the state offerings which method is the most advantageous for you and compare those policies for the best rate.

 

You have to either consult your state Dept of Insurance or ask your Medicare insurance broker or agent which method is being used for different insurers.  I looked up Wisconsin Dept of Insurance - Medigap and they had a  list of each insurer and their rating method -'all attained age.

 

Wisconsin and a couple of other states don't have the same Medigap plans like other states.  No plan F, G, etc. - you buy a basic benefit package and then add whatever other coverage you want with a premium added for theses choices.  So you kind of design your Medigsp policy up to what Medicare approves as Medigap coverage.

 

Could we make it anymore complicate - Ya Think???????  Woman Frustrated

 

 

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

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Message 328 of 651

I'm curious what others think:  What premium method is better and why?

 

Attained Age

Issue Age

Community Rated

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 329 of 651

@ls63763447 wrote:

Also dropping UHC due to their decision to not offer Silver Sneakers as an added perk.  Switching to Cigna Total Choice which includes Silver Fit, is accepted at our local Rec Center, and the premium is actually less for the same coverage and does not require underwriting.  I would have happily stayed with UHC and not even checked other options if UHC had not eliminated Silver Sneakers from their Supplemental policies.  I was with them for 4 years.   I am in Wisconsin.  Also found a less expensive Part D - WellCare for $14 per month versus Humana for $26.40 per month.  All in all, quite a savings.


Did you buy any of those optional Medigap coverages offered in the state of Wisconsin?  I think this is a good idea - you can up your coverage on the Medigap plan by item and then when premiums get too high perhaps begin to scale them back.  I assume you can do it this way since they are actually paid for with a separate premium.

 

From reviewing all the Medigap insurers listed in WI on the WI Dept of Insurance site for 2018, it seems they all are rated by attained age.  So come back when you are 80 / 85 and let us know how those premiums are going.

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

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Message 330 of 651

@m926465s wrote:

When I purchased the AARP Plan during my open enrollment period, I relied on two factors, the Silver Seakers program and the ability to change plans without medical underwriting. Recently, and without notice, AARP deleted both factors (requiring medical underwriting on Plan G). I would switch to a different provider too, but because of a surgery earlier this year, I am effectively locked into my current AARP/UH Plan even though it is more than $300 per year more expensive than a couple other Plans that do provide the Silver Sneakers benefit. I feel that I am a victim of a bait and switch strategy. I am sure that I am not alone. Does anyone know of any governmental agency investigating this? Alternatively, if anyone knows that I could switch to Anthem or Cigna without medical underwriting, please let me know.   

 Whatever type conditions you wanted would have to be in-writing in your policy to be enforcible.  Check your policy.

 

I am almost 100% sure that ALL (state specific) AARP / UHC Supplemental Plans contain the following language in their policy concerning any extra benefits - Silver Sneakers is an EXTRA benefit .

 

These are additional insured member services apart from the AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan benefits, are not insurance programs, are subject to geographical availability, and may be discontinued at any time.

 

Check your policy

 

The Government (Medicare ) defines the parameters of Medigap (Medicare Supplemental) plans - what's covered within each of the plans and when and what the insurers are allowed to do when certain situations occur with the beneficiary.  Since this is only GAP coverage, it is left up to the insurers as to how it will handle underwriting, within Medicare and state rules.

 

They can determine a pre-existing condition and write a new policy anyway WITH OR WITHOUT non-coverage of this condition for a specified time period or they can refuse to cover you at all - if they do write you, the premiums could be higher.

 

 The ONLY time when they cannot do this is when you are in your INITIAL enrollment period (when you sign up for Part B) - the initial sign up period when blanket guaranteed issue is in place and you are 65 years old at least. 

 

(From the Medicare.gov link below)

Outside open enrollment

If you apply for Medigap coverage after your open enrollment period, there's no guarantee that an insurance company will sell you a Medigap policy if you don’t meet the medical underwriting requirements, unless you're eligible due to one of the situations below.

 

See this link for those conditions which trigger an additional guaranteed issue period:

Medicare.gov - When Can I Buy Medigap?

 

However, if you were just wanting to move your coverage from Plan F to Plan G under the same insurer, it seems that should have been ok because I believe you can change to a plan of LESSER coverage with the same insurer ( abeit there is pretty slight difference in Plan F and G ) without underwriting as long as the initial policy is still in effect.  That is my understanding.

 

 They have a right to cancel a Medigap policy for only two reasons and neither are health related:  

1.  Non-payment of premiums or

2.  For materially leaving out something on the application - like something health related, which borders on fraud.

 

You might want to run this latter particular event past your own state's Dept of Insurance.  But again - what does your policy say?

 

 

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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