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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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Periodic Contributor

Everyone needs to write a letter to UHC, since they don't have an email address and let them know of our extreme dissappointment!!!

 

United Health Care

POBox 30607

Salt Lake City, Utah   84130-0607

 

Flood them with letters!!!!

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Periodic Contributor

This is so very typical.  My premium increased $28.00 a month for 2019 and you drop Silver Sneakers.  Take it to the bank I will be changing plans in the very near future.  We will also be discontinuing our AARP Membership that we have been part of for the past 18 years.  So very disappointed in AARP United Healthcare...

Periodic Contributor

I CAN NOT believe they are dropping the Silver Sneakers program.    A means to keep in shape and STAY healthy!  MANY small towns in AZ don't have other options.   I have only been medicare eligible since Oct and chose UHC BECAUSE of silver sneakers.  THEN I get a letter the program is being discontinued.  I AM FURIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I sent a letter (several actually) stating my dissappontment  and received a call.  They told me there will be other programs, better and will reach more people.  REALLY...here it is the end of December and I have heard NOTHING of any new program.      WHAT in the WORLD were they thinking!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

 

A very FURIOUS member!   

Newbie

I am wondering if there is a connection between the capping of Plan F, UHC, to new members and discontinuation of Silver Sneakers.  My feeling is that UHC knows how valuable Silver Sneakers is

and is counting on people leaving the plan.   By capping the plan, the existing members, like myself, get older and older and use the plan more and more so it becomes more expensive to UHC as no new members are coming in to fund the program.  I see the premiums getting higher and higher and benefits such as Silver Sneakers being taken away.  Is this just me?

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Regular Contributor

Not sure Medicare discontinuing plan F has anything to do with AARP and UHC dropping silver sneakers.   UHC pays AARP for using their name and that is like 50% of AARP revenue.  Plan F and G are the same except Plan F pays the yearly Medicare $183 deductable. I was told by some rep that some medicare insurance companies will try and up the monthly amount for F depending on medicare's approval (or hope they die off?).  In my case at age 70, Medical Mutual of Ohio charged 134.81 for G (only $6 more than N).  But $181.41 for F or $46.83 more than G.  12 month x 46.83  is much more than $183 deductable.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Please see my post - https://community.aarp.org/t5/Medicare-Insurance/AARP-Medicare-Plan-and-Silver-Sneakers/m-p/2064960#... regarding AARP and Silver Sneakers.

AARPTeri
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Contributor

Needless to say I was stunned to see AARP dropped Silver Sneakers!  I don't remember getting the so called letter and only found out by seeing post on the internet.  Now it's too late to change insurance companies since open enrollment date has passed.  You can bet next year I will be shopping.  I thought AARP was concered for Seniors health?  This was a wonderful benefit.  For 2019 my rates have gone up and now Silver Sneakers taken away.

I was also told by the rep on the AARP line that there would be another option which is not available yet in PA. Really?!

 

I am (and so is my husband also with AARP) very unhappy with this decision.  I hope you will re-consider. 

 

Carol B

Honored Social Butterfly


@CarolB353362 wrote:

Needless to say I was stunned to see AARP dropped Silver Sneakers!  I don't remember getting the so called letter and only found out by seeing post on the internet.  Now it's too late to change insurance companies since open enrollment date has passed. 

 

Carol B


 

You don't review your Medicare Advantage plan every year during open enrollment so that you are still assured that it is the best plan for you?

 

What happens if your Medical providers have been dropped from their network?

 

Perhaps if anything good might come from all of this, it is the fact that beneficiaries need to scrutinize their Medicare Advantage plans every year so that the plan they choose is the best one for them or make a change during the open enrollment period.

 

Or another good thing could be that they learn the difference in a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medicare Supplemental policy (Medigap) and the separate rules that apply to each of them.

 

 

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Periodic Contributor

I fail to see how this is relevant to the facts:

a) UHC dropped a service thats worth on average $30 a month to seniors, in a way that minimised the chances that anyone would notice before the end of the enrollment period, then sent a letter 1 week later.

b) AARP failed to tell anyone either.

As soon as I am able I will dropping UHC and AARP

 

Newbie

You are so right. It's a fact that exercise contributes to good health. Why would Silver Sneakers be dropped? I suspect somebody is making a lot of money with this change.

 

The LEAST they could have done is make the transition seamless which it is absolutely not. I inquired at my qualifying gym and was told they knew it was happening but I had to go through my insurer. So I called the UHC question line and was told it's TOO EARLY to sign up and to call back in January. What?

 

I gave up my gym membership to join  Silver Sneakers. Now as of Jan 1, I can't work out until I get this mess sorted. TOTAL INCOMPETENCE. 

Contributor

I vaguely remember the letter sent out in September. In the meantime I emailed AARP asking for confirmation and did not receive a reply. That UHC sent out the definitive letter after open enrollment is a lousy tactic to try to keep insureds from jumping ship. I also intend to switch to another supplement insurance carrier ASAP. Anthem is now offered in California and their plan is a bit less expensive than UHC and includes Silver Sneakers. I am in good physical shape and go to the gym at least once a week for a yoga class and/or weight training.

Regular Contributor

It was lousy for AARP to do that for Advantage plans.  But, Medicare supplement plans (unlike Advantage plans Oct - Dec) do Not have an open enrollment period.  You can change a supplement plan any month.  I read in these messages that on your birthday month in California, you can change supplement plan W/O underwriting pre-existing conditions.  If you do not have a pre-existing condition like certain cancer, you can change any month.  I am very healthy but 12 months ago had radiation for prostate cancer.  So in Ohio I went with Medical Mutual of Ohio which is cheaper, has silver sneakers, and if you go from a company's supplement plan to Medical Mutual (only between now and June, 2019), no underwriting is required and it only took an hour to be approved and 10 days to get our cards.  (we went from aarp uhc plan N to medical mutual plan G).  Medical Mutual in Ohio and some other companies are by passing pre-conditions to get AARP's business. 

Periodic Contributor

Goodbye AARP. Goodbye UHC.
Periodic Contributor

Silver Sneakers also provides online support welness coaching, in addition to gym memberships and special senior classes. 

WHAT IS SILVERSNEAKERS?

SilverSneakers® is a comprehensive program that improves overall well-being, strength and social aspects. Designed for all levels and abilities, this program is generally provided by your health plan at no additional cost. SilverSneakers provides access to fitness equipment, group exercise classes, social networking, online education and a sense of community. With more than 15,000 locations nationwide, you can visit any one of our locations at any time.

WHAT’S INCLUDED?

• Access to fitness equipment
• Specially-designed, signature exercise classes for all fitness levels**
• Pools, tennis courts and walking tracks**
• 15,000+ fitness and community locations nationwide (you can enroll at multiple locations)
• Social events in your community
• Online resources with nutrition and fitness tips

 

Silver Sneakers provides much more comprehensive health/fitness benefits, than the new UHC program!  When I called UHC about Silver Sneakers being dropped in California, I was told it was due to low participation in California.  I find that hard to believe.  I would like some transparency from UHC in sharing the actual 2018 California Silver Sneakers participation data.

Periodic Contributor

Teri, the information supplied by your link shows us which companies are offering Silver Sneakers for the next 10 days or so. I've written them an asked them to post a list of companies that will be offering Silver Sneakers in 2019. Hopefully, we'll be able to see a 2019 list soon.
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Regular Contributor

"Let them eat cake"

 

Regular Contributor

I think it comes down to poor common sense or greed on the part of United Healthcare and either laziness or ignorance on the part of AARP.  Anyone with half a brain knows that charging more and giving less is a good way to lose customers.

 

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my guess is that the business weenies at United Healthcare told themselves that this will increase their profits and their customers either won't notice or won't care.  They're willing to wave goodby to their customers who do notice and do care and maybe it makes financial sense for them to do so.

 

Since AARP is telling us we can trust United Healthcare to provide good service they should have had the foresight to anticipate that their members would unhappy if their benefits are reduced and kept this from happening by writing a contract that prohibits United Healthcare from doing so.  If they had we wouldn't be having this discussion.  AARP has some skin in the game because their name is on the product.  Any ill will that is generated by United Healthcare is likely to rub off on them.  People who choose to leave United Healthcare may also decide to leave AARP.  Those of us who valued SilverSneakers feel AARP weren't looking out for our best interest.  The bottom line is that we trusted AARP and they let us down.

 

We may be a small minority of AARP-United Healthcare customers, small enough that neither AARP or United Healthcare feel we're worth worrying about.  If they can increase their bottom line profits by ditching SilverSneakers the beancounters at AARP and United Healthcare may still be smiling about the decisions they made.

 

Their decision to leave SilverSneakers may have been right for them, but it wasn't right for us.  In our minds they sold us one product and gave us another.

 

They lied to us.

 

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Newbie

They are with the Renew Active program now. 

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I always appreciated my AARP membership because I enjoy the magazine.  Other than that, we use the Denny's discount.  My decision to go with them for the medical supplement was because my primary criteria was Silver Sneakers, they offered it and I had seen my husband's Blue Shield policy (also chosen for Silver Sneakers and, then, because they had been our insurer for years) going up in price.  Last March we switched him to UHC also and probably would have kept it that way with little thought.  

 

Ironically, I had no "warm fuzzies" for AARP because of their association with UHC.  But now I sure have bad feelings for AARP and will probably show it by not renewing either of our memberships when they come due.  And now we will both go back to Blue Shield and even save a little money while we keep our Silver Sneakers.  I wonder if AARP every asked any of their members what was important to them in selecting insurance.  And I wonder if they will even experience some backlash from some people that don't care about Silver Sneakers but also see that AARP has not served us well.  Years of hard work building trust can be lost very easily.  

Contributor

I AM FURIOUS!!! I GOT THE FIRST NOTIFICATION OF THIS THREE DAYS AFTER THE DEADLINE. ON AN ENVELOPE STATING: "New services available January 1, 2019". WHICH TURNS OUT TO BE DISCONTINUING SILVER SLIPPERS!!! AND PAYING 50% OF REGULAR PRICES FOR HEALTH CLUB MEMBERSHIP.

I am definitely not happy about losing Silver Sneakers, not happy about a raise in my premiums, not happy about the cutting back of services while charging me more, and then AARP not standing up to defend keeping all of the Silver Sneakers program! 

Since AARP is dropping silverslippers, I will be dropping AARP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I NEVER RECEIVED NOTIFICATION OF THIS BEFORE THE DEADLINE AS THEY FALSELY CLAIM IN THIS DISGUSTING LETTER.!!!

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Contributor

There is a Petition being signed to lobby for AARP to keep Silver Sneakers from the American Diabetes Foundation

 

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/661/218/540/aarp-uhc-dropping-support-of-silver-sneakers-for-2019/

Regular Contributor

You are not stuck with a supplement plan for 12 months.  I understood you can change it any time in a year, unlike an advantage plan that you can only choose between Oct and December and it is for a full year.  Ask another supplement plan person that has silver sneakers 

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Periodic Contributor

Yes indeed - Blue Shield have not refused cover, in fact they said that I was "on track" for coverage starting Jan 1st 2019. However, they seem to want my replies to go via underwriting, should they refuse coverage then I guess I can make a fuss. My birthday was 11/17/ - my application is dated 12/4, open enrollment ended 12/7
Geoff
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Yes I know.  Unlike California, there is no law in my state that allows one to switch supplemental plans within a period of 30 days after your birthday without going through underwriting.  I've switched my UHC supplemental  plan F to Aetna G (underwriting required)  and adding in next year's Part B deductible of $185.00 I'm able to pay my wife's and my gym expenses ($600 annually at LA Fitness - 1.5 miles from my house) and still save $115.00 a year. (As of yet I've not developed any medical issues.) That way I'm not at the mercy of an insurance company that decides that a gym membership is no longer viable for the company's bottom line. I also switched us from our UHC drug plan that was costing us $83.00 a month each to a UHC Walgreens plan. Yes, still UHC but I'm not going to cut off my nose to spite my face. The UHC Walgreens plan saves me $1400 annually. We've had these UHC plans for 12/11 years. I'm 77 and my wife is 76. With me leaving UHC my wife's UHC Plan F rates were increased by $11.00 a month so that reduces my savings to $1,268 annually.

 

My wife has developed some medical issues since she joined Medicare in 2007 and if course she also has to go through underwriting. (All other insurance companies other than UHC refused to accept her application) I did that with UHC and she filled out the paperwork for Plan G to begin 1/1/19. 2 weeks later I received a letter from UHC that they placed her on Plan G but....the premium was increased from her Plan F premium to the new G premium by 45%. Soooo, I called UHC and told them that was completely stupid to pay more for less so I had them cancel the new Plan G. I had 30 days to cancel...thank goodness. Hello! 

 

So I'm still saving over $1,200 annually with my own Aetna Plan G (start next month) and my wife remaining with UHC Plan F (not much choice with hers) and our new drug plan, so that's good. I love it when the kids talk about "free Medicare" for all. What a hoot.

Regular Contributor

Well, let's be perfectly clear about this.  While it is true that you can change your Supplemental (Medigap) policy at anytime, if you are not in your "Birthday Month" period, which in California is the 30 days following your Birthday, you will be subject to Medical Underwriting.  MANY of us have pre-existing conditions which make it practically impossible to make a change at any other time.  For  me, I was notified shortly AFTER my personal Birthday Month enrollment period ended, so I have to wait an entire year if I want to change.

 

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Also, just realized even in the Birthday month you can only change to equal or lower without underwriting.  So for me to move from UHC F to Blue Shield F Extra, it will require underwriting.  So I will probably pick G and that likely means Anthem instead.  Meeting with agent momentarily to figure out best strategy for the 2 of us. No matter what, I will be off UHC ASAP

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My wife and I both received the letter from UHC about dropping the Silver Sneakers Program on January 1, 2019 and replacing it with a 50% dues discount to the gym and making available some internal programs within UHC.  I have been on the AARP Medicare Supplement by UHC since January 1, 2018 and my wife started her supplement on November 1, 2018.  Neither of us received any letters that the Silver Sneaker Program would be discontinued for member in CA, and the agent that sold my wife's policy to her was not aware that the program was to be discontinued two months after her coverage began. The letter from UHC was received after the closure of the open enrollment period. We are now stuck with a program that we do not want for another 12 month period.  This action is most unethical and should be examined by AARP.  Perhaps AARP can re-evaluate the contract with UHC and place its members with a carrier who truly cares about the overall well-being of its subscribers.  I believe that the AARP Directors need to address this problem to the members as soon as possible.

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Regular Contributor

g89616c - 

 

You need to do MORE researh as you are NOT stuck!

1.  According to your posting, you are on a Medicare Supplement plan - NOT an "Advantage" (HMO) plan.  That means that you can change the plan at ANY TIME during the year.  The only potential issue that you might have to go through Underwriting where they look at your medical records.

2.  And even if you have major major medical issues, you live or it appears that you live in California!  That means that you have the right to change Medicare Supplement plans during the 30 days after your birthday WITHOUT going through Underwriting.  I posted the actual Statute on this.

3.  And applying NOW and getting turned down by Underwriting will NOT affect your ability to change plans during the 30 day period after your birthday!

 

And I strongly recommend that you find another agent.  The original agent who sold me on the United Heath Care Plan F says that she sells other plans but she was utterly useless on this issue.  In fact, she really pushes NOT changing.  Well, I found another agent and we're working on changing right now.  Good luck!   

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"And I strongly recommend that you find another agent.  The original agent who sold me on the United Heath Care Plan F says that she sells other plans but she was utterly useless on this issue.  In fact, she really pushes NOT changing.  Well, I found another agent and we're working on changing right now.  Good luck! "

 

Exactly our experience.  I felt like a thorn in the side of my agent, made worse by us having moved to a new county.  I found a new agent that immediately understood our issues and was very conversant about our options. I got thorough explanations for everything and learned more than I have in the past 4 years of dealing with this.  And we ended up signing up for dental insurance too.

Periodic Contributor

My final comment on this.  It was the gym that I go to that first drew my attention to this, so Kudos to them, I called UHC twice, the first time they told me it was not planned to withdraw Silver Sneakers, the second time they said it was - confusing.  Two weeks later after the enrollment period I got the "too late letter"...

I filled out the online application to Blue Shield for their plan F extra, that all went OK.  However despite my application being made within the enrollment period AND within 30 days of my birthday AND living in California - Blue Shield still tell me my application has to go through Underwriting.

Go figure,

Geoff

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