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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 201 of 587

thank you for such great indepth experiences!      it's much appreciated in the confusion of insurances!

valerieb
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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 202 of 587

John85259,

I read your previous post, which helped me tremendously. I too am in Az , started medicare in September,  and HAD UHC plan F.  I am also a Mayo patient.

 

Thanks to you, I realized I could switch my F plan without going thru underwriting (I most likely would not have had a problem, if I had to answer questions,  but who knows) as I was also within the first few months,  I switched to Humana effec 12/1/18 because of Silver Sneakers and lower rate (see my other post).  A note for you, we in Az can change our supplemental plan ANY time of the year, but may be subject to underwriting (answering health questions). I looked into Silver and Fit, but was told by the YWCA that we could still go to more than one gym, but could only be signed up for one gym at a time, and that I would have to dis-enroll from one to sign up for another. I liked the idea of being able to try different gyms, maybe within the same week.

Here's another tip for you on Mayo. Here's my understanding of Mayo in Az,  they will only take you st medicare age if you've previously been going there.

Billing for Mayo ...I just spent time on the phone with Medicare trying to figure out why a Dr bill was not paid at 80% of what medicare approved. (My F plan will pay the diff between what Mayo charges and what Medicare approves (this is called part B excess) as Mayo does not accept assignment of medicare in AZ. My plan F will also pay the 20% that medicare does not pay. Now this is the confusing part....Medicare calculates 80% of the amt they approved, then they deduct 2% of the 80%, then cut a check to me for that amount. They called it 'sequestration' because AZ Mayo does not accept assignment of medicare. One needs a finance degree to figure this out. I've considered looking for another family care dr as I don't want to be recieving checks, then havkng to pay the bill (I believe it's only the dr bills, Bills for labwork was paid directly.  It is quit convoluted and confusing! Good luck to you, Diane

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 203 of 587

The article on the Kaiser webpage said that Humana had tried to get rid of SilverSneakers but customer complaints convinced them not to.  Maybe Humana felt they couldn't afford to lose any customers while United Healthcare thinks the few people they lose won't be enough to worry about.

 

Here's an update on Silver & Fit:  They don't have an ID card that shows a gym that you're a member.  The lady I talked to at Silver & Fit said that I'd just need to take in my ID number and that's all that would be needed.  They also have an index of gyms on their webpage from which you can select one as "your healthclub" and print out a letter of introduction that you can show them.  I didn't see anything that would keep you from printing out a letter for several gyms.  I like the ID card that SilverSneakers has.  It simplifies things.  Maybe Silver & Fit will eventually choose to have one too.

 

After only 2 months with United Healthcare I changed to Blue Cross - Blue Shield of Arizona.  I could do this because I was still within the window of my initial sign up with Medicare.  I haven't used any benefits from either United Healthcare or BC-BS AZ so I can't comment on whether one is better than the other in that arena.

 

Here's my experience with Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ in case anyone else is considering using them.  When I called them to ask about the "Introduction to Medicare" visit they said they don't offer something like this.  I was transferred to their new admissions office and put on hold.  About 15 minutes later the call was terminated.  I don't know if it was caused by a problem with the phone system at Mayo or somewhere further downstream.  My phone was okay and I've never had a problem with terminated phone calls so I don't think it was on my end of things.  I went to the Mayo webpage and found a link to a page where you can inquire about setting up an appointment.  I filled out the info and said I was a new Medicare patient and had BC-BS AZ insurance and wanted to see a general practictioner for a review of my current health situation.  I received an email the next day that said " Mayo Clinic is not accepting new patients with government insurance in the specialty department you requested..." and gave a phone number I could call with any questions I might have.

 

I decided to try a different direction of attack.  I called Medicare and talked to a nice lady there about my situation and she suggested that I use their doctor directory to see if any doctors at Mayo are in their list.  As we were talked we both walked through the process of searching their doctor directory and we both found that for general practice there were 10 or 11 doctors at Mayo in Scottsdale, AZ listed as accepting Medicare patients.

 

Armed with this information I called Mayo again and asked to have an appointment with one of these doctors.  During our conversation I mentioned that I had been a patient at Mayo in the past.  It was over 10 years ago and they supposedly purge their records after 10 years so I didn't think I was still in their database.  The woman I spoke to showed some initiative and found in their records that I had called them within the last 10 years to the doctor who had done my physical a question.  So, I was still in their database and had a patient ID number, therefore I was still a patient of Mayo Clinic.  This was good news.  Then the lady at Mayo asked for my insurance info and looked it up and said my insurance with BS-BC AZ was good at Mayo Clinic and they'll pay everything Mediare doesn't cover.  Then  she asked me if I'd like to set up a visit for a physical.  We scheduled one and that was it.

 

It was somewhat of an ordeal to get hooked up with Mayo Clinic again but the phone call I made almost 10 years ago saved the day.  I have no idea whether they'll accept new patients with BC-BS AZ or other insurance for general medical care like physicals and that sort of thing.

 

I have several friends who had serious health problems and were referred to Mayo Clinic by their doctors and they were accepted very quickly and received excellent care, so it appears they are more flexible when dealing with people who really need them for something serious.  Since I'm in good health and don't take any medications maybe the folks at Mayo want more of a medical challenge than I can offer them.

 

I can say that 95% of the time I've received really great service from everyone I've dealt with in my transition to Medicare.  I've called Medicare at least 5 or 6 times with questions and always received excellent service.  Same with United Healthcare when I was begining my coverage with them and when I called to tell them I was leaving.  The people I've spoken to at BC-BS AZ were equally helpful.  And last but not least the folks at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale have also been good to deal.  Thought I'd give all of them a pat on the back in a public forum.  Customer service from people who care definitely makes a difference.

 

 

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 204 of 587

Sorry your agent did not know this.

AARP/UHC says that you can move form one plan to another, internally. Prior to October 1, 2018, they touted this benefit as your being able to do it any time you wished, with no Underwriting required.
What is not disclosed is the fact that when you are already a customer and then move to another plan within the company, underwriting or not, you pay a different rate than the street/published rate. You are far better going to a Plan G, or better, Plan N, with a different carrier. See www.PlanNMedicare.org

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 205 of 587

As I've stated recently I've canceled my UHC plan F that I've had for 12 years and went to Aetna plan G. My savings will pay for my wife's and my gym costs with some left over. I went to a different Part D and save over $1,200 annually. The bad news, my wife cannot leave UHC because of previous conditions (that occured over the past 5 years since she's been on UHC plan F - she has been on UHC plan F for 11 years) so I applied for UHC plan G for her. The insurance agent said it would save approximately $500 annually but after underwriting the plan G ended up to be $1,200 a year more expensive than the current plan F. What a kick. We are going to fight the underwriting because they came up with some really weird conditions they claim my wife has but in the meantime I'll keep her on the UHC plan F. What a circle  jerk.

 

 

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 206 of 587

We did receive notice from United Health Care about the time this thread started.  Our subsequent emails regarding increased premiums for next year did not mention anything about this, no surprise.

 

We have not received any info regarding it from any of the gyms we have membership in, but I guess it is not their concern since our membership is via Silver Sneakers.  I am very surprised that I don't think we have received any notification from Silver Sneakers that our membership will be ending at the end of the year under the conditions of which we have membership.  They must know so it seems like they missed a marketing opportunity..  

 

We are fortunate that we can change to Blue Shielf effective Jan 1 and are looking forward to not giving UHC our money.  Obviously not everyone takes advantage of the Silver Sneakers option, so maybe UHC just doesn't care.   For a lower monthly premium, we will not only keep Silver Sneakers but will also have an allowance for vision care (that we can use at Costco), a personal emergency device (which I won't admit to owning yet) and an allowance at a hearing aid center (that we probably won't use because we are sold on Costco for this).  

 

I was worried that UHC leaving Silver Sneakers would open the door for others to do the same.  My agent doesn't think that will happen and I hope he is right.

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 207 of 587

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

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 208 of 587

FYI, your link does not work. I did find the names of participating companies but they just list the current companies for 2018. The list doesn't show that AARP United Healthcare Supplemental Insurance plan for 2019 is dropping Silver Sneakers. I'm so surprised that AARP let UCH get away with that. They are replacing it with a program through Optum called Health Your Way. Enrollees will be required to pay half of the gym membership. I was never notified by AARP or UHC of this change. I heard it from my gym. They don't have details. UHC can only tell me Silver Sneakers is terminating at the end of December and that a letter was sent out (probably after open enrollment ended). I could have enrolled in a group plan and continued with Silver Sneakers, but it is too late for 2019. I can't enroll in the new plan until Jan. 1 so my gym membership is up in the air. I also go to 3 different gyms and it sounds like I will only be able to go to one now. No one has been able to answer that question. All I know is that I'm goning to be out of pocket for my limited choices.

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 209 of 587

ps - also planning to discontinue AARP membership.     

valerieb
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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 210 of 587

it's disgusting.      i talked with someone from united and she knew nothing either.    she even said "they're working on it"   i laughed.    my issue is that i've been happy with united's plan F coverage -- maybe i'll check humana or other plan F's and compare?       the person at united  i talked with did say we are 'grandfathered' in since they are not continuing plan F, but we all know they'll raise premiums to the point we'll have to change plans.....

valerieb
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