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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 131 of 642

Thank you the information!  I too plan to sign up at LA Fitness in Pasadena using the UHC AARP Medigap Plan G benefit.  I need to know if 50% of all standard membership charges are covered, including the initiation fee, monthly dues, and annual fee.

 

I look forward to seeing what you find out and learning the procedures I need to follow to get the discount.

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 132 of 642

This is my third posting on the topic of the dropping of the Silver Sneakers program by the AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance by United HealthCare.  I had the privilege of receiving a contact from the AARP Customer Service Department for assistance with my "transition" to the replaced fitness benefit offered by UHCin place of the Silver Sneakers.  The subscribers were promised a 50% reduction in the monthly dues along with several other benefits that I did not feel were worthwhile to my lifestyle.  LA Fitness is our gym of choice for its geographic location and accessibility, hours, etc.  That gym has its own procedure for membership under the new rules.  They have a dedicated website that must be accessed through the UHC sponsored website HealthYourWay.com.  The AARP Customer Service agent was to walk me through it.  Needless to say, when the gym membership prices appeared, they were nowhere close to the 50% discount.  The AARP agent made it clear to me that it was to be a 50% discount of dues, not "an up to 50% reduction of dues", and there were unresolved problems.  She sent the issue to her powers upstairs from her level of authority to research and resolve the issue. LA Fitness, in all graciousness and commendabilty, agreed to allow my wife and I continued access to the gym until the matter is resolved.  They also admitted to many problems with the transition.  So we sit and wait.  More to come when I hear it.  Thank you to everyone who has posted and those who have shared their opinions.

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 133 of 642

Who put an AD for PlanNmedicare.org on this site, trying to get AARP members to use them for Medigap plans (like plan N).  Claiming because plan G will go up in cost more than N because it is a better deal?  Not mentioning 'Access charges', etc.

This is an abuse 

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 134 of 642

Kind of a moot point, now that the Annual Election Period is over. There is, currently, no mechanism to join a Medicare Advantage plan, if you were not already on one, until next AEP (October 15 to December 7th to then take effect January 1).

As to the other part, about the best Medigap plans being Plan F or Plan G, the latest research clearly shows that this, too, is no longer the case. Plan F is not available to those new to Medicare as of January 1, 2020. This is due to the MACRA act. This means that those remaining on Plan F, after January 1, 2020, will begin to see rate increases based on an ever-shrinking pool of members still on that plan, and no new members, at 65 (young and healthy), joining Plan F after that point. 

In layman's terms, we call this a sinking ship. It is anticipated that this will increase the already-poor rate increase trajectory of Plan F, which has, thus far, been THE landing place for anyone losing employer coverage (think G.E., UPS, AT&T) and having to accept those folks as "Guarantee Issue". This has been largely responsible for the higher-than-normal rate increases, unique to Plan F.

Plan G has been a great alternative to Plan F, with all of the same coverages with only the very-small Part B Medicare deductible to pay and then full coverage. The problem is that, again, January 1, 2020, Plan G takes over as the defacto specified plan that must begin to accept Guarantee Issue business, again - those older retirees that lose their work coverage and must be accepted without health underwriting, nationwide. The current trend already shows that Plan G plans across the country are already accounting for this with higher trends in rate increases. This begin mid-2018 in anticipation for the January 1, 2020 implementation of MACRA.

So what's left? Plan N.   Plan N also requires the payment of the Part B deductible once per year, and also has small co-payments when accessing services. Up to $20 for an office visit, $50 for Emergency Room. This means more participation in the plan costs, which also means a typical reduction of 20% or more in the monthly premiums. Those that are even relatively healthy will do far better being on Plan N with a lower monthly premium and out of pocket costs that only materialize at the point of service. Hospital admissions are still covered 100% without a deductible.

Plan N will not be subject to any Guarantee Issue provisions. Meaning, the only way someone can get Plan N (except in certain non-underwriting states) is to get onto Plan N via Open Enrollment when first eligible for Medicare; or, go through health underwriting questions. This means that the pool of those folks on Plan N will remain free of the mandate that Plan G will be under where they must accept some folks, regardless of health, and will not be a closed pool, like Plan F will be, to new, young Medicare recipients. 

You can see the research on this at http://PlanNMedicare.org


 

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 135 of 642

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 136 of 642

@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 137 of 642

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

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 138 of 642

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 139 of 642

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 140 of 642

@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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