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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 also disappointed that Silver Sneakers is being dropped by AARP's recommended medicare provider.  I am currrent lookng for other medicare providers that support the Siler Sneakers proogram

Honored Social Butterfly

Several of you are talking about changing Medicare plans because the Silver Sneakers (specific) program has been discontinued in connection with the plan, just be cautious.

 

If you currently have a Medicare Advantage plan, you can switch during open enrollment that begins in a few weeks, no problem there - pick the best one you want within your area.

 

However, if it is a Medicare supplemental plan ( Medigap ) which you have that works with the traditional Medicare program, changing to another Medigap plan under a different insurer might not be quite as easy.  Just work with a knowledgeable person or make sure you understand the rules connected to a change in a Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) Insurer.  Reference the subject on Medicare.gov and any state specific rules that may help or hinder such a change.

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
Periodic Contributor

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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Periodic Contributor

I was extremely disappointed today when I received the letter from AARP stating that effective January 1, 2019, they will be dropping Silver Sneaker. The Silver Sneaker program is one of the best programs to promote exercise and wellness for senior in existence. By dropping this program they are sentencing an untold number of seniors to a death sentence of inactivity. It looks like AARP and United Healthcare want to start their own program from what I read into the letter and force fitness companies to join their network. Smart, get your members to do the dirty work for you lazy folks. It is all about greed! Doesn't make any difference if it is the Democrats, Republicans, or now AARP. So much for the AARP representing all seniors, that is just a marketing line filled with BS. Guess I might be looking for another health insurer for next year. 

Regular Contributor

Taken directly from the AARP 2017 annual report:

 

At year’s end, AARP’s consolidated

statement of financial position (balance

sheet) reflected total assets of nearly $4 .3

billion

 

It's all about the bottom line.  They list $880,000,000 in royalty income, which represents 54.8% of total reported income.  You have to wonder what part of that royalty income comes from United Health Care?  You and I are paying for that?  Nonprofit?

Contributor

Well I checked, and , sure enough, Blue Cross Blue Shield in Arizona will still provide for a paid gym membership. As a result, I am giving UHC/AARP the heave-ho, 11/1/18. 

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Regular Contributor

Yes.  The same thing in Connecticut.  Blue Cross/Blue Shield has the same plan as my AARP plan.  The BC/BS 2019 premium is less than what I am paying now for AARP/United Healthcare and it comes with Silver Sneakers.

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Periodic Contributor

 Your correct I just looked into changing from AARP UHC to Anthem Blue Cross

with the same coverage.  I will be saving close to $500 by making the switch and I will be able to have silver sneakers.

Thanks for the info!!

Seniors helping seniors

Periodic Contributor

Your correct I just looked into changing from aarp uhc to anthem blue cross

with the same coverage.  I will be saving close to $500 by making the switch and I will be able to have silver sneakers.

Thanks for the info!!

Seniors helping seniors

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Regular Contributor

I think the problem with switching to another provider is you have to be very careful and look at the long-term implications.  Blue Shield and Anthem use age-attained rating so the cost goes up every year for your age, in addition to general increases.  UHC uses community-based so your age doesn't count.  So be sure to look at the rates for 10 years out or so and make sure you don't save a bit now and pay for it later - that's what my situation looked like.  Of course, I supposed UHC could also decide to change that down the road.  

 

Apparently any of us with Plan F will have to be careful down the road too because as new people are not enrolled in it, the average particpant age will just keep getting older and older so it will probably become too costly.  We will probably move to the G Plan now -  it actually appears to be priced as a better bargain.

Periodic Contributor

Kathy,

 

THANK you for the reminder about the various ways that premiums are calculated. When looking for different plans one must keep in mind the effects of a premium's component factors as we progress in age.

 

Kind regards,

Liz

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Honored Social Butterfly

@KathyC708800

 

Do those Medigap private insurers rate all their plans the same way nation-wide?  Or do they perhaps do it based on the state where they are selling the policy?

 

 

I was under the impression that some states limit how the insurers can do it to one option - like community rated.  That would certainly make a beneficiaries comparison easier between insurers.

 

I don't know - I am asking.

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Regular Contributor

I don't know that much about it.  I am in California and called our agent and she reviewed scenarios with me, just looking through what the age-based companies were charging this year at each age versus what I am currently paying UHC.  

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Trusted Contributor

UHC/AARP doesn't offer Silver Sneakers to their medigap customers in Washington state ( told that in a phone call to the company ).  The Optum deal does cover my local gyms but pays 50%, not the entire cost.  In some ways this makes sense as you're more likely to use it with some "skin in the game."

Burnhaven
Contributor

i have skin in the game...working for 47 years paid full Social Security and full insurance premium.  I pay both a premium for AARP and a medicare premium and deductible.  That is quite a lot of money.

I will chose my yoga program or Pilates and then they can pay half.

Contributor

Well I do not like your other so called opiunm...it is not all that here where i live in Cleveland Ohio...The place i was going.to for 3 yrs...does not except it and the other places are in need of repairs and they are dirty.....bathrooms for... I am a senior and i really dont want to travel to the other side of town..I really miss the place i was going to..its really ashame we can not choose...in my area we have more silver sneakers acceptance then optimum.....

Rosemarie Kuebler...Sept 4 2018

Newbie

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?

Periodic Contributor

That only works for the Advantage plan....not the standard Medicare supplement plan by UHC>

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Honored Social Butterfly

@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 . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Newbie

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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Honored Social Butterfly


@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 . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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This is a real bummer.  I had no idea they had dropped Silver Sneakers

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Newbie

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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Periodic Contributor

But don't you have to pay 50% of the membership?

Periodic Contributor

I don't believe you received correct informaiton. Members on the HMO Advantage plan continue to have Silver Sneakers, but people on the individual plan called AARP United Healthcare Medicare Supplement Plan, do not.

Regular Contributor


@sr32711449 wrote:

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!

 


Optum will not translate to free membership at the fitness center. It will only cover half the cost of membership. So we would still be on the hook for the other half, plus higher premiums.

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Thanks...called UHC and can't verify the Optum Fitness Advantage until after January 1.
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Periodic Contributor

I  had the same experience. Very disappointed in AARP and United Healthcare.

Contributor

Agree... same experience.
I will be considering changing insurance and dropping AARP at next renew period.
AARP is supposed to be looking out for seniors, but failed us miserably. When I called AARP to complain, they told me to call UHC.
Regular Contributor

This is what happens when you sell your soul to the highest bidder.  Perhaps it is time for the decision-makers at AARP to reflect seriously upon their core values.  If it's more important to keep the doors open by auctioning off your name than to adhere to the core values, then it's time for new leadership at AARP.  

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