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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 131 of 638

I strongly disagree with the suggestion that people who buy Medigap coverage should switch to Advantage plans in order to keep their Silver Sneakers benefit. What matters is the coverage itself, not the perks, and Medigap coverage is much better than Advantage. A good, top-shelf supplement has no co-insurance or co-pays while Advantage plans have both. While Advantage premiums may be lower, the co-insurance can make those plans far more expensive if and when you get sick. And remember, as you get older you are likely to incur your most expensive medical problems. The best coverage you can get is original Medicare plus a Plan F or Plan G supplement. Free gym membership may be nice but it should not be the focal point. And don't forget, with a supplement you usually have a lot more freedom to choose your doctors and hospitals.

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 132 of 638

@olblueiiii wrote:

Thee have been a couple of posts suggesting that the United Health Care has simply changed the Silver Sneakers program over to the Renew Active program, and that everyone's Siver Sneakers benefits are still there under the Renew Active program name. I want to point out that United Health Care's Renew Active program only applies to people with one of their Medicare Advantage plans and not to those of us with a United Health Care Medigap plan, such as a plan "F" or "G" or "N".


 

 

That is TRUE - and you DO NOT have to be a member of AARP to have their AARP UHC Medicare Advantage plan.

 

The new program for SOME of those who have an AARP Medigap plan insured by UHC is called Health Your Way * - You have to register for it if your state specific Medigap plan of this branding includes it.  You DO have to be a member of AARP to get an AARP UHC Medigap Plan.

 

 Health Your Way *

 

 The Disclaimer:

* An additional insured member service apart from the AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan benefits, not an insurance program, subject to geographical availability, and may be discontinued at any time.

 

This program is administered by Optum for UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company.

 

Participation is voluntary.

  

The gym or fitness center rates may vary by location. These services are not an insurance program and may be discontinued at any time.

 

Either of these health and wellness programs, and for that matter any of them from any insurer, can be changed or discontinued at anytime.

 

For those with a Medicare Advantage plan it is just a matter of reviewing the plan during the annual open enrollment period and if your current plan does not meet your needs or desires for coverage, whatever those needs or desires for coverage might be, you simply change to another Medicare Advantage plan offered in your area that does meet your needs and desires for coverage - pick your best Medicare coverage plus any added benefits and services offered by the insurance provider for yourself.

 

For those with a Medigap plan, any EXTRA benefit can change or be discontinued at any time.  These do not affect your Medicare gap coverage in any way.  These would be extra benefits for which you may have to pay extra in some manner but if the extra service is changed or discontinued, you would no longer have to pay for this extra service.  Changing your Medicare Gap coverage (Medigap) can be changed at anytime but there are Federal and State rules that could affect you - so know what you are doing.

 

Now AARP also has the FLIP50 program as one of their member benefits.

FLIP50 is a program from Tivity Health, the same company which owns Silver Sneakers and Silver Sneakers FLEX.

 

FLIP50 (TM), an AARP Member Benefit

 

 

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

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Message 133 of 638

UHC dropped Silver Sneakers for all programs, not just the Advantage plan. A least in my area.

dcobb
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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 134 of 638

Thee have been a couple of posts suggesting that the United Health Care has simply changed the Silver Sneakers program over to the Renew Active program, and that everyone's Siver Sneakers benefits are still there under the Renew Active program name. I want to point out that United Health Care's Renew Active program only applies to people with one of their Medicare Advantage plans and not to those of us with a United Health Care Medigap plan, such as a plan "F" or "G" or "N".

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 135 of 638

My medicare was switched to "Renew Active", also.

 

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 136 of 638

@AlanW174645 wrote:

I agree that AARP has both 50 to 64 year olds and over 65.  

The site you put on was in response to why AARP was in favor of Afforable Care Act.

Which has absolutely nothing to do with any these posts or the suits against AARP and revenue from UHC.

Medigap/supplement plans are really all the same for every single plan as laid out by the government.  EX. Plan G is the same medical coverage for all companies. Medicare is the primary for all these supplement plans and supplements pay the left over amounts depending on the plan letter.  There is some cost difference and it seems (maybe because of the money UHC give AARP) that  AARP UHC is not the cheapest.

So when AARP and UHC charges more and takes away a great program like silver sneakers (which is Not part of any regulated plan just great to have),

it makes both AARP (which is like a non profit insurance company) and UHC look like they do not care for the over 65 year members.  These older members have the right to complain and sign up for a a difference medicare supplement company which many are doing! And drop both AARP and UHC which they should.  I'm not sure why persons in their 50's join AARP other than discounts which you can get by AAA and others.

 


 

I was actually answering the reply to @FreedomRetirement in their 01/05/2019 post to this thread.  However, it was an appropriate comment to this thread since it describes how and who make marketing, services and benefits decisions for AARP - AARP Services, Inc. - and how this organization works with the membership arm of AARP.  AARP is not an insurer by even a stretch of the definition.

 

Yes,  all Medigap plans between insurer are the same in regulated coverage.  They are all GAP coverage, as you said, picking up some or all the out of pocket cost for the beneficiary which Medicare does not cover.

 

Plans can charge different premiums - each plan can use one of three rating methods.  Medicare.gov - Cost of Medigap Policies

When talking about the premiums, one has to understand the differences in these rating methods as the examples in the link shows.

A particular Medigap plan might be cheaper when you first buy it at age 65 but it is rated by an "attained age" process, it will probably not be as cheap when the beneficiary gets older compared to plans that use the Community rating or the issue age rated method.

 

AARP, the membership organization, does not or has not taken away anything.  AARP UHC Medicare plans from UHC redesigned their health and wellness benefit with one of their own design.

 

According to Tivity Health, the owners of Silver Sneakers, Silver Sneakers Flex and Flip50, in their forward looking statement to their investors in 2018, compared to the whole market of those Medicare beneficiaries who have either a Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan with Silver Sneakers, not many of them use it.  Therefore they have introduced other plan which different - more digital in nature, with some other potential benefits towards a bigger crowd - those 50+.

AARP, this membership organization, has added Tivity Health's FLIP50 benefit to their list of member services.

Tivity Health 2018 Investor Day - The Road to 5 Million Enrollees

 

We are coming into a new age and yes, more things will be offered under the digital realm -!how fast this happens is anybody's guess - sometimes pretty fast.

 

Since Medigap is not a full insurance policy, any of these companies could keep, eliminate or change any of these "extra benefits" since there is no requirement at the Federal level for them to be there in the 1st place - I doubt if most states have legislated this either - I haven't read about any of them doing so -

 

AARP is not an insurance company - they make no decisions for coverage, set no premiums, select any doctors for the plan - they are a membership organization for those 50 and over.  They try to give this group a good benefit for their membership - all of them 50 and over, not just the ones that are 65 and over.

 

Yes, anybody can change their Medicare plan - Medicare Advantage or Medigap - according to the rules set forth by the Feds and the state where they buy their respective coverage.  But Medigap is a different breed than Medicare Advantage since there is NO Annual Open Enrollment period for a Medigap plan in most states. You can move a Medigap plan with you from state to state since it is only gap coverage since traditional Medicare is the actual insurance.

 

Just make sure you understand the rules of switching insurers and plans and don't cancel the old Medigap policy until you have reviewed the new policy and your new premium and everything is fine.  There is a 30-day Free look period according to Medicare.

 

Switching Medigap plans or insurers is not like when you purchased the plan initially unless guaranteed right have been extended to cover your situation or a state law that gives you this option of switching at certain times - unless you have that assurance, you need to make sure that the new policy has been issued as you understand it to be and premiums too.  Just a word of caution.

 

 

 

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

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Message 137 of 638

They have changed the plan from Silver Sneakers to Renew Active. I can still go to the same gym. 

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 138 of 638

I agree that AARP has both 50 to 64 year olds and over 65.  

The site you put on was in response to why AARP was in favor of Afforable Care Act.

Which has absolutely nothing to do with any these posts or the suits against AARP and revenue from UHC.

Medigap/supplement plans are really all the same for every single plan as laid out by the government.  EX. Plan G is the same medical coverage for all companies. Medicare is the primary for all these supplement plans and supplements pay the left over amounts depending on the plan letter.  There is some cost difference and it seems (maybe because of the money UHC give AARP) that  AARP UHC is not the cheapest.

So when AARP and UHC charges more and takes away a great program like silver sneakers (which is Not part of any regulated plan just great to have),

it makes both AARP (which is like a non profit insurance company) and UHC look like they do not care for the over 65 year members.  These older members have the right to complain and sign up for a a difference medicare supplement company which many are doing! And drop both AARP and UHC which they should.  I'm not sure why persons in their 50's join AARP other than discounts which you can get by AAA and others.

 

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Re: Silver Sneakers being dropped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 139 of 638

That's why I posted the address and name of head for the AARP Services, Inc. for people to express their displeasure - 

When AARP gave their responses to this investigation, they posted their response on their website.

 AARP 11/2012 - AARP Responds to Congressional Inquiries

 

They stated that there is a decision making process and this is how they described it:

AARP - AARP Services Inc Decision Process

AARP Services, Inc.

AARP has always been committed to fighting for the 50-plus in both the public and the private sectors. As with policy decisions, AARP-branded product decisions begin with the needs of all those over 50. AARP Services, Inc. (ASI) is AARP’s wholly-owned, taxable subsidiary, which provides quality control and oversight on behalf of AARP for AARP-branded products and services. Feedback from AARP members and the 50-plus market helps ASI explore product concepts, which are then reviewed by the ASI product team, AARP staff and AARP’s Board of Directors to ensure they are in line with AARP’s public policy, social change and membership goals. Once these reviews are complete, product development and implementation begins. Throughout this process ASI oversees and monitors providers to ensure that products with the AARP-brand deliver value to AARP members and hopefully change the marketplace to benefit the entire 50+ population.

 

This Silver Sneakers coverage problem does NOT include all the membership since only those 65 and over can qualify for a Medicare insurance plan - Medigap or Medicare Advantage - with a few disabled in some states who get SSDI and thus are eligible for Medicare.

 

AARP is suppose to make decision for their membership - it is a 501(c)(4).

Well the membership has lots of differing descriptions -

  • 50 years old or older
  • NOT all of them qualify for Medicare 
  • NOT all of them can afford a Medigap plan
  • NOT all of them are concerned with an exercise program

I feel like I am an unbiased source here - 

I am not a member but do understand their need to bring in income over and above membership dues.  I do not have a Medicare Insurance plan - Medigap nor MA plan.  

 

The AARP Foundation is where they work for ALL seniors and that subsidiary is a charitable non-profit - 501(c)(3).

 

Each person that is eligible for a Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan should understand how they work and which one is best for their own needs.  They need to understand the consumer protection which are built into each of them by rules from the Feds and their state.

 

These "extra" benefits built into ANY Medicare insurance plan can change.  The difference is that switching a Medicare Advantage plan is made very simple by the Annual Open enrollment period.

 

There is a lot more to consider when switching a Medigap insurer when guaranteed issue rights are not assured.  

 

The BS Innovative Plan F is probably fine but will they take people from another insurer with only a Plan F,  not Innovative?  Will they do it for someone who has a pre existing condition and not disqualify it from coverage for a set period, or deny them coverage altogether?

 

Will they not underwrite them and charge them more for their premiums?

Will their premiums not escalate down the road because of their rating method?

AARP United Healthcare Medicare Supplemental plans  are group coverage that uses a Community Rating method in all the states where they sell this coverage.  What rating method does the BS Innovative Plan F use - or is it based on the state where the policy is written?

 

Community Rating is usually the slowest to rise followed by Issue age and then Attained age.  So sometimes people are making a decision to switch their Medigap plan because they are following this Silver Sneakers "extra" benefit and they are just considering the premium right here and now - what happens when that new "attained age" premium starts to rise each year as they get older (and perhaps sick or sicker).  How are they gonna deal then?

 

 

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

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Message 140 of 638

It always has been a business. Important to see the House Ways and Means Committee report that someone just had removed from the public rolls online...but it is here:

 

https://seniorsavingsnetwork.org/ways-and-means-committee-report-on-aarp-removed-from-site/

The Blue Shield Innovative Plan F is a great plan..more benefits and less cost. We can help with that. (800-729-9590).

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