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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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Good for you! I live in Ohio and left UHC over 2 years ago due to this, went with Anthem...and never looked back. They were cheaper to begin with, didn't raise their rates by near as much the next year, gave me Silver Sneakers as part of the deal AND I don't have to belong to AARP if I don't want to. They keep sending me offers to rejoin. NO WAY!

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Opps! Forgot to say I went with Anthem and thus far, good service!

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After reading this I WON'T choose United Health!! I may not get a great insurance company with the one I choose, either, but this was just wrong. I hear the rates REALLY go up, too.

If you had to choose now, which Plan G Medigap company would you choose (NC). I have my own gym and will use it, but to promise and then remove.... 😞
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@VivianR375175 wrote:
After reading this I WON'T choose United Health!! I may not get a great insurance company with the one I choose, either, but this was just wrong. I hear the rates REALLY go up, too.

If you had to choose now, which Plan G Medigap company would you choose (NC). I have my own gym and will use it, but to promise and then remove.... 😞

ALWAYS remember that ANY health insurance policy is a contractual agreement with a start date and end date specified but even then there may be a clause as to certain specified things that can change more often per the contract.

 

You have certain government (state and federal) protections with Medigap plans because CERTAIN stipulations are defined specifically by those government entities - anything outside of these is subject to the will of the insurance provider. 

 

Federal government (CMS) defines the benefits in each of the Medigap plans, insurers options on rating methods..  State government may give other specifics on IF and when a person can change plans, how long a specific pre-existing condition may be excluded in any newly changed policy,   State government may also give rules to the insurers on IF and when a Medigap policy may be offered to those under 65 years old as in the case of a disabled person going on Medicare after their 24 month wait period.

 

These are the ONLY things which each of the Medigap plans HAVE to cover -

Medicare.gov - How to Compare Medigap Policies 

For any additional service or benefit, understand that those are not mandated and could possibly be just a marketing ploy to set themselves apart from others offering the same Medigap plans.

 

The rule of thumb for any health insurance policy is to READ the policy and understand it.  It is a contract - same as a homeowners or auto insurance policy or any other.  Understand what is a contractual agreement and what is just a periodic add-on that could be stopped (or started) at the will of the insurance provider.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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I switched to Humana Supplemental (Plan G) and get SilverSneakers free again at the gym I work out at.

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United Health Care pays AARP a huge stipend each year.   It goes to say that it's not in AARPs' interest to negotiate with UHC.  One would think with over 38 million members there would be some sort of bargaining power.   

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@TheodoreV321949 

 

AARP Services, Inc., founded in 1999, is a wholly owned taxable subsidiary of AARP that manages the range of products and services offered as benefits to members.
Parent Organization:  AARP
Subsidiary:  AARP Financials, Inc.

They do the picking and the choosing of benefits for the most part - they do the negotiations.
It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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The following link is to an official Congressional investigation report completed in 2011 and explains a lot, most likely this link will be removed before much time passes. AARP is not what they seem.

 

https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/1446464/aarp-report-final-pdf-3-29-11

 

aarp-report-final-pdf-3-29-11.jpg

 

 

 

 

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That is NOT a 'Congressional Report' - the voice of two Republican congressmen. I've no dog in this fight, but it is getting so tiring to login somewhere and find some link to a janky document purported to be factual, but when examined, is nothing more than a screed pushing another lame 'alternative fact'

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This post is an update to the experience my spouse and I had over the Silver Sneakers debacle with AARP/UHC Medicare Supplement Plan (not Advantage plans!).  We complained vehemently to AARP when the change was made last year to drop the Silver Sneakers benefit to LA Fitness, a gym we have used for several years.  We decided to ride out the change--we paid our $22 per month per person for the year 2019 for our continued gym memberships and hoped that our voices had been heard by those in power in AARP along with maintaining our Supplement Plan with AARP/UHC.  We were very happy to see the change in Renew Active for 2020!  The management with LA Fitness was most cooperative in setting a plan to cancel our contracts, apply our last month fees, and start the new membership under Renew Active with LA Fitness.  We have experienced zero problems. The transition was smooth and easy and we have very positive feelings regarding what transpired.  We believe that AARP listens.  But as any other big organization, it takes time for them to act once the voices are heard. Yes, our Medicare Supplement Plan dues increased.  Yes, we know that AARP is paid by vendors in exchange for the opportunity to have our business.  Yes, AARP is a business.  However, if a member has a grievance, it pays to make your position heard in a positive fashion. AARP works a lot better than the governmental garbage we are seeing on television now.

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I'm glad you can use Renew at your current health club. Unfortunately, the health club that I've been going to for over 30 years only participates in Silver Sneakers, NOT Renew. I tried LA Fitness by me using Renew, but still liked my health club better. Plus, LA Fitness was 30 minutes away, mine 5 min. So I left AARP/UHC's supplemental plan and now have a Humana Supplement Plan which offers Silver Sneakers so I can continue to work out at my preferred health club.

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Periodic Contributor

"We've gotta protect our phony baloney jobs!".............the governor, Blazing Saddles

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The American Association of RETIRED Persons, (AARP), has over 38 million members.   Its' mission is to "work to address the needs and interests of middle-aged and elderly people in the United States".   One would think with that kind of power AARP could negotiate lower rates and benefits with United Health Care, (UHC).  

 

Then one, digging deeper, would discover AARP receives a huge stipend fron UHC each year.   So much for addressing the needs of elderly people.

 

We are also led to believe that we will receive "special" rates from UHC, but only if we are members of AARP.   Shame on me for accepting this as true.    I found several insurance companies offering the same policies as UHC at much lower rates.  Unfortunately, like UHC, these companies only offer "Silver Sneakers",  as part of "Advantage" plans.  

Fortunately, I found a company that offers the exact plan I had with AARP/UHC plan at a MUCH lower monthly rate.  Silver Sneakers is not offered with this company.  The good news is that the savings on my premium was such that I could afford to pay my full monthly gym membership fee and still have extra dollars left!


By the way, I've also cancelled my AARP membership and joined another association for mature citizens.   Studying where AARP spends its' members money made that decision for me.

 

I wish you all well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I am having a hard time getting my YMCA to accept the Renew Active plan. However, there are multiple YMCAs signed up in the near by communities that have signed up. They accepted this last year but are refusing it this year. I am currently being charged a monthly membership and have to pay for classes every 6 weeks which is getting very costly. Can someone Please tell me why a YMCA would refuse to sign up and if there is anything I can do? 

 

Thank you,

MJK

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I also switched to Humana plan F, same benefits, real Silver Sneakers, and cost less. AARP is a ripoff company that takes money form seniors for-profit through advertising. Very disappointed in them for supporting UHC when they dropped Silver Sneakers. I had no issues with UHC and their medical insurance end, had them for over 15 years, but it was going to cost me over $250 for the Community Fitness Center just down the road. Unacceptable, now it is free with Humana Plan F and is costing me less.

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Kind of like closing the barn door after the horse left, isn't it? I went to Anthem and saved significant money in the process, so I guess I should thank AARP and UHC...but I won't be back. Now I know I can't trust them to do what's best for seniors, not their bottom line. 

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That's fine for those wanting to stay with United Health Care.   I dropped them last December in favor of the Medicare Supplemental plan offered by Anthem Blue Cross.  For me, it was cheaper and I kept Silver Sneakers.   Everyone needs to look at what works for them.  

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The site still lists Silver Sneakers as a benefit.  Silvers Sneakers offices sees no termination in their website.

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I dropped all my AARP sponsored UHC benefits.  Members here are led to believe that UHC offers the best pricing on all plans.   They do not!  

My suggestion to all who are unhappy about UHC dropping Silver Sneakers, shop around! There are companies offering this program at lower premiums. 

I also am droppIng my AARP membership.  You would think that a group with their lobbying power would have stood up to UHC; or at least notified their members of this change.  The reality is AARP receives a substantial amount of money from UHC.

 

I wish all of you the best in this frustrating Medigap world.  

 

 

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@TheodoreV321949 wrote:

. . . . . .  Members here are led to believe that UHC offers the best pricing on all plans.   They do not!  

 

 

. . . . . . I wish all of you the best in this frustrating Medigap world.  

 

 


The rates for any Medigap insurer are based on one of (3) methods -  To make a cost comparison, especially for the long-term, since Medigap plans are often hard to switch without added cost or exclusions, you must compare apples to apples.

 

So you statement above may or may not be correct depending on how the policies compare with their rating method.

 

Medicare.gov - Costs of Medigap Policies 

 

1.   Community Rating (Also known as NO Age Rated)

How it’s priced

Generally the same monthly premium is charged to everyone who has the Medigap policy, regardless of age.

What this pricing may mean for you

Your premium isn’t based on your age. Premiums may go up because of inflation and other factors, but not because of your age.

 

 

2.  Attained Age Rated

How it’s priced

The premium is based on your current age, so your premium goes up as you get older.

What this pricing may mean for you

Premiums are low for younger buyers, but go up as you get older. They may be the least expensive at first, but they can eventually become the most expensive. Premiums may also go up because of inflation and other factors.

 

 

3. Issue Age Rated

How it’s priced

The premium is based on the age you are when you buy the Medigap policy.

What this pricing may mean for you

Premiums are lower for people who buy at a younger age and won’t change as you get older. Premiums may go up because of inflation and other factors, but not because of your age.

 

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Hi GaiL1-thanks for your informative replys.  You provide us with good stuff! 

 

I'm wondering what you think about whether the community rated plans (UHC Standard Plan F in California) will have their rates go crazy without the ability to add new members after january 1, 2020. 

 

Isn't the community rated plan based on "average age" of all in the  plan?  If so, seems to me that without newer, younger people joining the plan, that the rates will go sky high as we get older.  Or is it really only increased due to inflation?  wonder what "other factors" means......

🙂 

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IMHO  Now is a good time to bail from Plan F if you can.

 


@ChristineS148307 wrote:

Hi GaiL1-thanks for your informative replys.  You provide us with good stuff! 

 

I'm wondering what you think about whether the community rated plans (UHC Standard Plan F in California) will have their rates go crazy without the ability to add new members after january 1, 2020. 

 

Isn't the community rated plan based on "average age" of all in the  plan?  If so, seems to me that without newer, younger people joining the plan, that the rates will go sky high as we get older.  Or is it really only increased due to inflation?  wonder what "other factors" means......

🙂 


I do believe Plan F premiums will go into a death spiral. But even before considering that, compare Plan F vs Plan G premiums TODAY. In Illinois, Plan F annual premium run about $400-500 more then Plan G. Yet plan F only saves you a $200 deductible! You'll pay more in premiums then the Plan will save you in $

 

As I understand community rated.. everyone in the geographical area share all the plan's cost. Plan cost increases each year w/inflation but also increases as the number in the plan drop off. Give the cost of Plan F ain't worth it compared to G, I'm switching. I think many others will too. All of which will continue to drive Plan F prices through the roof

 

p.s. Also, be aware that, at least in Illinois, switching from AARP UHC Plan F to  Plan G requires medical underwriting! Meaning the sooner you switch plans the more likely you don't have to worry about not meeting underwriting criteria.

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@ChristineS148307 wrote:

Hi GaiL1-thanks for your informative replys.  You provide us with good stuff! 

 

I'm wondering what you think about whether the community rated plans (UHC Standard Plan F in California) will have their rates go crazy without the ability to add new members after january 1, 2020. 

 

Isn't the community rated plan based on "average age" of all in the  plan?  If so, seems to me that without newer, younger people joining the plan, that the rates will go sky high as we get older.  Or is it really only increased due to inflation?  wonder what "other factors" means......

🙂 


Thanks for the compliment.

There is another poster here - somarco - that gives some good info too on this topic - he is probably real busy right now (open enrollment).    There maybe others too.

 

As to your question about community rating - the way I understand it, when you turn 65 and pick up a community rated plan, you get the premium that is currently running for everybody in that plan.

In CA, since ya'll have that birthday rule about switching, then I guess you also get the current rate in a community rated plan at switching. 

 

I am pretty sure that age has no bearing on a community rated plan but don't know.

 

It continues on with medical inflation adding to your premium - I am pretty sure this is BY PLAN.  So yes, I think that there will be some increase in premiums down the line because a community rated Plan F will not have any new blood (healthier blood) coming in to balance out the cost - But it may take a good while.

 

Also keep in mind that some AARP/UHC Medigap plans have a declining discount that will make premiums increase in addition to the medical inflation cost.  I guess that might be a "other factor".

 

Plan F still sold this year and there are still plenty who have it; lots of baby boomers, ya know.  I'd be more worried about medical inflation.  To date, I have not seen the Medicare Part B premium for 2020 announced, nor the deductible - this info is late but should be a good indication of how medical inflation is fairing -

 

Think you will need a crystal ball to answer your question about what will happen to Plan F premiums down the road cause that is gonna depend on who stays and who goes and their medical needs.  But you have the CA Birthday Rule that many other people do not have.

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Re:  Apples to apples

 

The company I switched policies to has the highest ranking given to insurers.   I switched to same EXACT coverage I had with UHC for $102.00 less per month!


Simply put, it's a shell game.   Please show me in any of AARP's editorials or emails where this is addressed.  One last question.  Why does AARP only offer UHC for Medigap policies?

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@TheodoreV321949 wrote:

Re:  Apples to apples

 

The company I switched policies to has the highest ranking given to insurers.   I switched to same EXACT coverage I had with UHC for $102.00 less per month!


Simply put, it's a shell game.   Please show me in any of AARP's editorials or emails where this is addressed.  One last question.  Why does AARP only offer UHC for Medigap policies?


When comparing apples to apples on a medigap plan between insurers, you not only have to look at the same plan (same coverage) but also what rating each of the insurers is using to compute your premiums.  I covered the three rating methods in my previous response.  Sometimes your state dept of insurance has this info available - the rating method of each insurer and any other state specific rules and regs.

 

Some other state defined differences might be  -

  • ease in or ability to switch a Medigap plan from one insurer to another at a specific specified time
  • underwriting
  • period of time a particular medical condition might have a period of exclusion when switching
  • whether or not a different insurer can deny you coverage when switching

Medigap plans have some rules made at the Federal level (Medicare) like plan design but other rules and regulations are made at the state level.

 

Federal rule:  You never want to cancel one Medigap plan until you have the other, in hand, with premiums calculated and you are satisfied with your decision even if you have to pay both premiums in a particular month and work it out later - you have a specific time period to switch back.      Medicare.gov - Switching Medigap policies 

 

You only have that 6-months when you 1st turn 65 (initial enrollment period) when you have 100% guarantee issue - meaning insurers cannot deny you because of your health or rate you higher.

 

AARP and UHC have an agreement by which UHC pays AARP a specific amount for each policy similar to a royalty agreement for using the AARP name.  This is a licensing or brand agreement done by AARP Services,Inc.  The profit making arm.

 

Did you think that ALL of this runs off of membership funds????

 

You have to be a member of AARP to buy a AARP/UHC branded Medigap plan.

You DO NOT have to be a member of AARP to buy an AARP/UHC branded Medicare Advantage plan.

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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That would be too bad. I need a fitness FREE plan. I was about to look into Silversneakers. My neighbor is at Snap Fitness using Silversneakers and I thought how ideal it's just down the road. But now you are not supporting Silversnealers so I guess you will have some unhappy seniors.

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Periodic Contributor

Not all plans have dropped Silver Sneakers. Some Medicare advantage plans still include them. My plan had it in 2018, switched to offering one discounted membership in 2019, and now this year are again offering a new free coverage very like Silver Sneakers, the new plan is called Renew Active.

. Be aware that you don't have to be covered by a SS plan in order to take SS classes. You just need to join a gym that offers the classes.

Silver Sneakers has a page where you can plug in your information and find out if your insurance includes SS coverage, and then farther down the page, you can look up what gyms in your area offer the SS membership and classes. 

https://tools.silversneakers.com/Eligibility/CheckEligibility

My AARP UnitedHealthcare Medicare Supplement Plan (a Medigap Plan 'F' plan) now offers very similar free coverage through their RenewActive plan this year. I take the classes at LA Fitness, where all the group classes, including Silver Sneakers classes are free, in addition to use of the gym, equipment and pool. You should contact your provider to find out if either Silver Sneakers or Renew Active is one of the benefits of your plan. 

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i started this chain and am hapoy to report uhc aarp has heard our protest and seniors can now join gyms again for free! thank you aarp and uhc and all those who pushed back! 

 

let's get active! no longer called silver sneakers but still the benefit is there! 

 

thanks all!

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What is now provided does me no good because the gyms only have bicycles and NO POOL. My Dr. has prescribed water exercise, which is often recommended for seniors, ie AARP members. I still feel AARP let us down!

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