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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 291 of 635

Sorry but you seem to misunderstand what AARP is.  AARP is an insurance sales company no different from your local agent but set up as a non-profit to avoid taxes.  It does not represent AARP members, it represents the interests of the insurance companies and the wealthy people they appoint as directors.  You are not a member of an organization - you are a customer.  You get no say in the BOD selection - have you ever received a notice to vote on the BOD?  No you haven't and never will, and you get zero input to policies and procedures.  The otherwise profits that would be taxed are paid to the owners - the insurance mogels and the BOD who are paid multi-million salaries to own the company.  AARP has always been a scam, the scam has had some benefits for their customers, but really you can buy insurance without them, and then you don't have to get all their marketing nonsense.

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Re: Blue Shield's Plan F "Plus" costs less than Plan F & has SilverSneakers!

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Message 292 of 635

@ChristineS148307

I have a friend who is a Medicare insurance agent in one of the (11) states which were dropped in this last round - his email from them was dated 09/06/2018.  Mind you, UHC has been dropping the Silver Sneakers (Tivity Health) program in Medigap plans by state for several years.  This change (dropping) was just a multi-state change. 

 

For Medicare Advantage plans, they have replaced this benefit with one of their own design.

 

Their exposure, or any other insurer that write Medigap plans, is limited since it is GAP insurance - they don't write the rules - Medicare (CMS) does.  They don't pick any providers - Medicare (CMS) does that in the Traditional program.  Insurers actually have little say at all in Medigap plans - if Medicare approves the charge - they have to pay their part - that is pretty much it.

 

UHC has been called out on many of their routines in Medicare Advantage plans - dropping providers from their networks in the middle of the year.  CMS is also investigating their use of the risk assessment - Medicare pays more to MA insurers who have beneficiaries that are sicker.

 

I am sure that you have read on this forum several complaints about  the calls from UHC wanting to do home visits to check on their beneficiaries - yea, right - they just want to see if they can rate them a little sicker for additional money from Medicare.

 

Then there are all the legal maneuvers between CMS and UHC over money and the practices of each to each other - Think currently there are more than one whistleblower claim.

Reuters 02/13/2018 - U.S. can sue UnitedHealth in $1 billion Medicare case, judge rules

 

Star Tribune 04/14 / 2018 - UnitedHealth pushes back in whistleblower case

 

Star Tribune 09/10/2018 - Judge rules for UnitedHealthcare in Medicare overpayment case

 

I am sure you have read on this forum how many are very dissatisfied with the way their mail order pharmacy, OptumRx, handles their medication orders.

 

It is funny how UHC is so very big but yet has so many complaints in their Medicare insurance part of their business from beneficiaries.  But having the AARP name on many of these plans does help them and their business in the Medicare insurance realm.

 

Other insurers have this going on too - from a laymans point of view - it seems pointless - it should be a fair system to all parties - the government and the insurers - but it gets very complicated working with the government especially a government that needs to save money in a program and insurers that need to make money..  They do want private medicare insurers in the MA plans and the Prescription Drug plans to work down their cost as much as possible.  CMS wants savings from them in addition to the Traditional program. 

 

It is complicated but what isn't when extreme amounts of money is involved.

 

 

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: Blue Shield's Plan F "Plus" costs less than Plan F & has SilverSneakers!

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Message 293 of 635

This is all great if you don't have any pre-existing conditions, which I do.  In California, according to the Birthday rule, I can switch plans with no underwriting for 30 days after my birthday.  When my last birthday came along (in August) I got happy birthday wishes from AARP/UHC telling me what a great insurance plan I had but never did they say anything about dropping Silver Sneakers.  So I let that time period go away as I'm happy with my coverage otherwise.  Then, not 1 1/2 month later, I get the notice that they are dropping Silver Sneakers and my premium is going up.  Honestly, I would not drop my insurance coverage for only that reason, but I'm not feeling warm and fuzzy about their lack of transparency with me.  I cannot image that they did not know in August that they were going to drop SS.  Next year, I will definately look at other policies during my birthday month and will do so from now on.  I may not find anything better to suit my particular situation, but "buyer beware".

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 294 of 635

Outstanding!  I totally agree and I am changing to Humana, which for me, has the lowest rate in my area.  I don't understand why UHC is dropping a benefit, that in the long run, should reduce their expenses in providing us with medical insurance. I guress short term greed is more important than the health and welfare of their customers.

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Blue Shield's Plan F "Plus" costs less than Plan F & has SilverSneakers!

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Message 295 of 635

In Silicon Valley area Blue Shield's Plan F "Plus" costs less than their Plan F, has added benefits ($100 of free contact lenses or a cost-break on spectacles; hearing aid benefit; etc.), and unlike UHC/AARP's 2019 offerings includes Silver Sneakers.  Blue Shield's eligibility questions inquire about health for past 3 years and so are slightly tougher than UHC's, which only inquire past 6 months, but if you're reasonably healthy you will likely qualify.  My BS "F-plus" 2019 premium will be around $17 higher than UHC's Plan F but my gym (24 hour SuperSport -- pool, towels, nice showers, great trainers) costs over $50 per month so even without the added "plus" benefits it would be worth it.  If your Rx's are mostly cheap generics, I recommend Aetna Medicare Rx Select (PDP) S5810-295; the monthly premium is under $20, and most common generics (blood pressure, lipids, HRT, 1st-&-2nd-generation antibiotics, etc.) have either a $0 (zero) or $3 copay.

So, for under $200 per month you get great Plan F-Plus coverage and a good Rx plan!  Note that Kaiser Senior Advantage, whose base premium (includes Part D) is $105 if you opt for their "Plus" (which includes Silver-and-Fit, pretty much same as Silver Sneakers, plus dental, hearing, and eye benefits), but you have $30 copay for each visit to clinician, lab, etc., and they slap on another $250 if you need an outpatient procedure (e.g., cataracts, etc.); plus their pharmacy copays for Tier 1 and 2 will be $5 and $10, and almost nothing is on Tier 1.  So in the end, unless you haven't yet gotten your Shingrix, it's pretty much a wash financially and of course with Kaiser you have to use their doctors -- and if you need Physical Therapy then all I can say is "good luck!"

If you haven't gotten your Shingrix, and you don't mind being in Kaiser for a year, and you're willilng to risk getting a medical problem in the next year that would disqualify you from a Part-B secondary, then you'll be delighted to know that at Kaiser ALL immunizations are FREE -- including Shingrix!

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 296 of 635

I am extremely disappointed with AARP UHC dropping Silversneakers.  I am changing my Medicare Medgap to Humana which will continue to have Silversneakers in 2019.  Additionally their rates, for both plan G and F, are slightly cheaper. If AARP is truely concerned about the health of its membership, I would strongly encourage AARP to end it's relationship with UHC. 

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 297 of 635

Well said byboth of you!! 

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 298 of 635

Well said! 

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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 299 of 635
Well said.
Told AARP to take me off their mailing list for other products ( life insurance ).
I’m going with Blue Shield for Part D.
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Re: Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

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Message 300 of 635

This isn't about "corruption", per se.  AARP made the decision to license the rights to its name to the highest bidder.  It turned out to be UnitedHealth Care.  The irony is that while AARP does not have any involvement in UnitedHealthCare's decision to drop the Silver Sneakers program, many health clubs are telling their members that "AARP is dropping Silver Sneakers".  That's the problem with licensing your name.  Also keep in mind that Silver Sneakers is not a benefit mandated by Medicare. It is an incentive to get people to sign up with, in this instance, UnitedHealthCare.  Because this incentive is not a mandated Medicare benefit, any company offering it as part of a Medi-Gap or Supplemental Insurance Plan can elect to remove it.  Many other insurerers continue to offer Silver Sneakers as a 100% paid benefit.  I'm dropping my AARP/UHC supplemental insurance plan in favor of one from Blue Shield.  They offer Silver Sneakers and their rates for me are less than AARP/UHC. This is a classic example of what happens when you give YOUR customer a reason to shop at one of your competitors.  Not only do you lose the Customer, it will cost you dearly to get them back.  As long as Blue Shield delivers the services I want, for a price I can afford, they will have my business. This has not only driven me away from UHC, it has also undermined my faith in AARP.

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