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Re: Silver Sneakers being dropped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 1 of 603

I also resent UnitedHealthcare for being so non-transparent about eliminating SS. I suspected something last fall and called them several times asking what was going on with SS. They acted like they didn't know anything yet. They just said they were calling it Renew. Not until I RENEWED with them did I find out that they dropped SS. Very dishonest of them! Thankfully, I found out that I had until the end of March to switch plans so that's what I did!

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 2 of 603

My reply was directed towards a poster who is in Illinois, as am I. That posting chain of connectivity was lost. 

 

You are, of course, correct that every state is different, with their own laws written by their own legislatures. I think many people do not realize that and assume that various postings here and on the internet apply to everyone.

 

I also will never enroll in an "Advantage" plan. Not right for me. I like the docs I have.

 

From what I have been able to discern (yeah, from the internet, and maybe Illinois), it is only Advantage that has the annual enrollment period. After your first enrollment in Supplemental/"Medigap", changing plans requires going through underwriting, regardless of birthday or annual period. Maybe that varies by state or the posting I came across is wrong. The source appeared authoritative. I went through underwriting which took a couple weeks, but passed.

 

My health club of choice is the YMCA. It appears they have dropped Silver Sneakers entirely. At least overall. HOWEVER, I was never able to get a straight answer out of any of those people, local or regional. Wretched communication. SS website only shows one YMCA in the entire Chicago metro area - not the one I use. Why the one? IDNK.

 

From my own ordeal with this and from reading other postings, I am reluctantly convinced that people should at least talk to an agent. This whole thing is confusing and internet postings are not reliable because, again, each state is different. And every situation is different. And too many people don't know what they are talking about.

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 3 of 603

I see this topic 'heating up' again and nu8579, your post may only be accurate for you and your state.  Everyone needs to check their state and thier specific plans.

 

I live in California.  I have Original Medicare and I had the UHC Plan F - medicare supplemental plan.  I have not and will never enroll in an "Advantage" plan!. 

 

When UHC dropped Silver Sneakers, I was not happy.  So, I found a great agent and found I had several options.  I think I had 4 companies that had supplemental plans - all of which had Silver Sneakers!  Since I didn't want to wait until my birthday, I went through underwriting and changed to Blue Cross Innovative Plan F effective January 1st.  This is the normal Plan F but with a few added benefits.  And yes, I have Silver Sneakers!  And even better, my premium DROPPED!!

 

I've had a couple of emails frrom my UHC agent claiming - falsely - that changing would cost more.  Obviously AARP and UHC miscalculated on this one.  As I told her, I SAVED money by changing.  Long story short - Everyone needs to check their own situation.  Make sure that you are doing what works for you!

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 4 of 603

As I stated in my previous posts, I switched back to Original Medicare because I found out that Humana Supplemental offered SilverSneakers. I used an agent also. He told me that in my area (Chicago), Humana was the only supplemental plan that offered SS. Yes, Original Medicare has a higher monthly premium, but SS was very important to me.

 

If UHC would have kept SS, I would most likely have stayed with them under a Medicare Advantage plan. My favorite doctor wasn't in any other MA plans' networks. Therefore, I was thrilled to find out that a Humana supplemental plan included SS. Now I can go back to the gym I've been going to for over 20 years that's closest to my home!

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 5 of 603

Silver Sneakers is DEAD as far as AARP is concerned. It looks like the entire SS program is barely hanging on as well. According to a quick check of their website today, it is only available to those enrolled in an Advantage plan, not Medicare Supplemental (Medigap). If you do have an Advantage plan, look at Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Illinois. BCBS received positive review from my doctor's office. I just dropped AARP/UHC and went with BCBS Plan F High Deductible. But each situation is different. Also consider talking to an agent.

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 6 of 603

I agree. Work with an agent and don’t let anyone scare you about rates being raised because you are leaving their plan.  I switched from UHC to Cigna because UHC dropped Silver Sneakers.  With UHC I was guaranteed  a discount for 10 years (each year the discount decreased).  However, my premium is less than the so-called discounted UHC and includes Silver & Fit which is accepted at our Rec Center to participate in Silver Sneaker classes.

 

I now receive multiple mailings from UHC asking me to “come back” and I qualify to receive the discount price again for 10 years.  Go figure.  No way UHC.  You have lost me,

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 7 of 603

Actually, a lot of people switched from United HealthCare.  This is a long thread and you'll find many members who dropped UHC.  Frankly, because AARP sold their name (and soul) to UHC, I've pulled away from AARP as well.  I'm pretty sure I'm not alone.  I'm very pleased with Blue Shielf of California, and I switched to Silver Scripts for my drug plan and am saving a lot of money vs. UHC-Walgreen.   Chances are, I would not have changed either plan had UHC kept Silver Sneakers.

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 8 of 603

I suggest working with an agent if you are not already. It doesn't cost anything and it is their job to be on top of what the different options are in your area. In our case, we have original medicare and supplemental. I switched to another plan in January (December birthday) but my husband had to wait until his birthday to change. When it was time for his change our agent told us that Blue Shield was aggressively going after business and had opened up the F Extra Plan (which is what I originally wanted but could qualify for) with no underwriting - we both switched to that. I know some Advantage Plans extended their open enrollment period also. It is state-by-state so my experience in California is only anecdotal - but the bottom line is I think an agent can be a great help.

 

Also, I changed agents when I made my initial change because the agent we worked with for several years just didn't understand that Silver Sneakers was important to us. She expressed concern the rate could be higher for us later on by leaving the community-based rate under UHC. Of course that ignores the cost of gym membership if it is important to you. I spent as much time as I could looking at rates for different age groups, etc. and decided I was not likely making a terrible decision. Best I could do without a crystal ball. Hopefully gym membership keeps medical costs down and UHC won't be benefitting from that within their community. I'm still pretty angry with them.

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 9 of 603

I haven't heard anything to that effect, but time will tell, I guess. I think I've heard of a half dozen people who left AARP/UnitedHealthcare to switch to another insurance company. However, none of my doctors were in any other Medicare Advantage plan in my area, which is why I switched to Original Medicare and to Humana supplemental which carries SilverSneakers.

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 10 of 603

Does AARP have any plans to reinstate Silver Snearkers in Illinois?  I found out too late to change this year, but want to know which carrier will do it for 2020.  Thanks

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