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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 51 of 666

I'm in the Chicago area. Unlike last year, when members not yet part of Healthyourway (Optum) couldn't see the list of participating gyms (I did call last fall, got an agent at UHC, and she admitted they were still signing up centers to participate) , the new upcoming gym program (Renew Active, part of At Your Best) lets you do a lookup without having a logon (like the Silver Sneakers website). If you go to www.myrenewactive.com  and click on "Find a Fitness Location" you can look for gyms near you.I'm in the Northern suburbs and got 26 centers within 10 miles of me. The majority were chains like LA Fitness, Planet Fitness, Anytime, some smaller gyms a number of park districts. 

The best thing about Silver Sneakers was that you could join multiple gyms, and though I wasn't thrilled about paying a monthly fee this year for my gym (which I picked because it does have Silver Sneakers classes), I was angy that I could only pick one gym membership where I could pay the 'discounted' price (they jacked up the regular price, offered multiple locations in the chain and then charged half of a deluxe membership). I lost access to an indoor walking track around the same time, so the most heartening thing was in the FAQs, where it looks like UHC will return to allowing participation at multiple locations  - 

Can I use multiple participating fitness locations? 

Yes, you can visit multiple participating fitness locations within our network. Simply present your confirmation code at each participating fitness location you want to use. They can then enroll you in the Renew Active program and provide you with access.

 

The FAQs also say that 'standard access' will once again be free - 

What does Renew Active offer? 

Members can visit a participating fitness location to receive standard access at no additional cost. This includes access to a variety of exercise equipment, classes and group activities. You choose the programs and location that are right for you. Amenities may vary by location. You also receive access to BrainHQ, which features fun, online brain exercises and activities designed to keep your mind active. You will be able to access Renew Active beginning on the effective date of your eligible Medicare Advantage health plan.

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 52 of 666
UPDATE from my 10/18 comment: I've had Anthem Plan G for almost a year. Other than the first $185./year, it pays for EVERYTHING except, of course Part D Prescriptions. I'm VERY happy with Anthem and with Plan G. I was still getting bills for co-pays from UHC in April and May 2019 from the year before! Why they took so long, I'll never know, but once I was totally on Anthem and paid my $185, I've not paid a penny more for anything. So nice not to worry about whether I have the money for the co-pays/deductibles when I need medical care! .
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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 53 of 666

Yes, you are correct. I live in Chicago and when I still had UHC, only one club in my neighborhood participated in Renew and offered free membership. Another club told me I'd get a discount, not free. I took a pass. As I said in one of my earlier posts, I was able to switch plans so I dropped UHC, changed to Original Medicare and my supplemental (Humana) has SilverSneakers. It's so important to stay physically active as we age. 

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 54 of 666

I don't know where you live, but the "Renew" program is not free for most of us.  It is "discounted" in most areas but perhaps some gyms go ahead and offer it for free?

Anyway, the new thing is still the "Renew" but they are calling all the "new" features "At Your Best".  I'm sure, in response to the outcry of UHC dropping Silver Sneakers, they said OK, we'll give you gym membership for fee.  The question is, what gyms and how long will this last?  We all have to remember, even if you went to Blue Cross other other insurance companies, there is NO REQUIREMENT that they keep offering free gym membership.  It is strictly their choice.  So if an insurance company wants to drop it, they can at any time.

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 55 of 666
Maybe a local senior citizen's organization would know how to help finding an agent.
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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 56 of 666

The letter I received back in February called their program "HealthYourWay.com" This is the trickery these places employ, keep changing names so consumers don't know what they are getting. Or not getting.

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 57 of 666

I gave up on AARP/UHC months ago and went with a high deductible plan from Blue Cross/Blue Shield. The cost of the AARP Plan F was skyrocketing and is projected to do so far into the future. That is because new entrants into Medicare are not allowed to sign up for it so the pool of participants will be just the aging population and not offset by younger, healthier people. The substantial money I save will fund a reserve to cover the deductible if necessary, pay for a membership to a health club close to me and have some left over. I talked with the people who handle insurance at my doctor's office and they said BC/BS is a good insurance company. 

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 58 of 666

UHC did this in Ohio about a year and a half ago. RetireMED®iQ, an independent health plan advisory service, negotiated with Anthem and was able to offer a cheaper plan with the same coverage, that included Silver Sneakers. UHC wanted it's subscribers to pay for it's "new improved plan" that included a few gyms. (Translation: more profit for them.) There was no improvement for the consumers. I have been VERY happy with Anthem and glad I moved. There were also several other plans that picked up Silver Sneakers. My friend took one of those and is also pleased. If you have an advisory health plan service in your area, they can help you at no charge (at least they do in Ohio). You  might also look thru the archived posts here, as there was a great deal of information provided in the posts back then and some of those posts, I believe, were from California. That was in the Fall of 2017 throughout 2018. You also aren't required to join AARP with these other plans.

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 59 of 666

They already have a free heath care service offering gym memberships. It's called Renew and it replaces Silver Sneakers. The problem is that this program doesn't include as many health clubs as the Silver Sneakers program they had before. I signed up with a health club that participates in Renew, but it was much further away from my home. Also, I heard that at some club the Renew program only discounted your membership, rather than being free. So I'll be curious what they will be offering come January 2020. 

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 60 of 666

I received the same notice and called the # to see what gyms will be included in my area.  After waiting on hold for 30 minutes I gave up.  I'll find out later.

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