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Regular Contributor

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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Periodic Contributor

Do you think AARP has seniors as their most important focus? Well according to an investigative report the U.S. Congress did in 2011, their focus is on making money for themselves, not in the wellbeing of seniors. In 2011 they were the 6th largest insurance company according to the report. They are a nonprofit organization and pay very little to no taxes on the billions they make from endorsements from insurance companies such as UHC and other products they put their branding on. Congress at the time wanted the IRS to investigate their nonprofit status, but that was never done. Most likely due to their heavy lobbying efforts of the AARP to Congress.

 

Another interesting thing that happened was the report disappeared from the government website in 2012 (other reports are still available from that time period) but I managed to find another link which you can see below. There is also a video posted of some of the investigative hearing on the SeniorSavingsNetwork.org website. You can also find the report at their website.

 

Very interesting reading, especially if you are a senior and have AARP/United Health Care as your insurance. Finding this report and related information all came about because UHC dropping Silver Sneakers for their own crappy program that no one wants to accept plus what was free now will cost 50% of the gym fee. Oh, by the way, UHC is raising their rates in the spring.

Bottom line, don't trust anything AARP says or at least take it with a grain of salt. They are not interested in your well being. Here is the link:

 

https://preview.tinyurl.com/y9sunpht

 

Most likely this post will disappear quickly from the forum (just as the report did from the Congressional website), so make sure you download the PDF so you can share with your senior friends.

 

Periodic Contributor

Thank you for posting this information.

I too am disgusted that this program has been dropped.  I did not recieve any notice from AARP that they were terminating the program or receive any list of possible insurance aletrnatives that may include the program. 

Replacing it with a 50% off program does mean hardship for some seniors- most gymns have additional fees that must be paid resulting in large expenditures for so many that have- like me- used the program for many years.

Regular Contributor

Not sure why AARP (tax exempt insurance company) want to try and duplicate silver sneakers.  Silver sneakers has programs and help, not just using a fitness center.

 

SilverSneakers Newsletter <support@silversneakers.com>

 

 

Periodic Contributor

Don’t think AARP should be tax exempt. Don’t represent me anymore.

Periodic Contributor

tax exempt?      sickening.     but not surprising.      bottom line is always $$$$.    and we all pay for it.     disgusting.     so glad i won't renew and will change insurance companies.    

valerieb
Periodic Contributor

sure has been great reading all of the responses to this.      haven't called yet to get the 'secret code' or whatever it is to replace the silver sneakers here in ohio.     and just saw someone mentioned flip50.     never heard of that but will check it out.      the whole thing is ridiculous and has anyone noticed all of the AARP commercials on TV?     no wonder since so many of us aren't renewing!!

valerieb
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Periodic Contributor

Check out Medical Mutual of Ohio, I switched to them with the F plan and it was cheaper includes Silver Sneakers!

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Periodic Contributor

Medical mutual is not listed in my state Or in several others that I checked. Seems Ohio only.

 

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Medical mutual is not listed in my state Or in several others that I checked. Seems Ohio only.  And I noticed that the deductibles for all Gap programs have increased at least $2,000. Wow.  I understand that the federal gov is trying to radically change Medicare and trying to push everyone into an Advantage/HMO type policy.   We need to eliminate the concept of 'in-network'.  Let everyone then have a lower cost gap policy that will allow all to select own doctors, hospitals, clinics, and labs.  Insurance companies could then eliminate 1/3 of their costs trying to get medical folks to sign in-network contracts.   

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Periodic Contributor

AARP/UHC has a problem.

AARP sold its name. No longer represents me.

Google UHC CEO compensation for 2018!

Periodic Contributor

I am angry at United Health Insurace medigap program. I really enjoyed using Silver Sneakers membership of accessing different facilities and classes for my health program. Water aerobic at one site, Zumba at another, and gym time at even a third site.  I think the Silver Sneakers news letter, website, and health information is excellent, top-notch.   I am still receiving their newsletter by email.  So, please consider requesting the e-newsletter on the Silver Sneakers website even if your health insurance provider has stopped allowing you to use Silver Sneakers.  

I also reviewed the new program that United Health is now using.   In my estimation, the website is sorely lacking and the information provided is very minimal.  Shame. 

I know that there is a cost for every service program that the insurer utilizes.  Yes, there is a cost for the call-in that United is now using. But for seniors, it is a real health advantage to be able to access the various exercise classes.  

For me, I will be exercising less because access now to those various classes are financially out of reach. 

I will be looking for a new gap insurance at end of 2019.  Shame on United Health!! 

For AARP,  concentrate on including La Fitness into you current Flip50 benefit.  I would pay the low monthy cost to be able to access all those facilities that visited in 2018.  

 

Regular Contributor

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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Contributor

If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, one may switch from your Medicare Advantage Plan (excluding Medical Savings Accounts, cost plans, and PACE) to another Medicare Advantage Plan, or to Original Medicare with or without a stand-alone prescription drug plan (Part D), during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA OEP).

 

The MA OEP occurs each year from January 1 through March 31. Remember, you can only use this enrollment period if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan. Changes made during this period take effect the first of the month following the month you enroll. For example, if you switch to a new Medicare Advantage Plan in February, your new coverage begins March 1.

 

For info, go to https://www.medicareinteractive.org/get-answers/medicare-health-coverage-options/changing-medicare-c... 

or https://medicare.com/medicare-advantage/new-open-enrollment-period-for-medicare-advantage/

  

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Regular Contributor

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.

 

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Honored Social Butterfly


@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.

 

 

 

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Contributor

They have changed the plan from Silver Sneakers to Renew Active. I can still go to the same gym. 

Contributor

My medicare was switched to "Renew Active", also.

 

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Periodic Contributor

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".

Periodic Contributor

Yep.  Searched for Renew Active and found the following on their website:

 

In 2019, Renew Active will be available to members of certain eligible plans in the states of AZ, CA, CT, FL, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MN, MO, NC, NE, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, TX, UT, WA, and WI.

2. Who can use the program?
Plan members of an eligible Medicare Advantage Plan insured by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company in participating states can use this program.

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@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

 

 

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Periodic Contributor

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

dcobb
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Indiana dropped Silver Sneakers for all plans.  The Flip50 may be the way to go.  Would be even better if LA Fitness joined this also.  I use both the Y & La Fitness.  

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well, just checked FLIP50, and sadly, since it's touted as AARP - i don't trust anything they support or recommend, so i'll just (hopefully) shovel snow, run up and down the steps, garden in the spring, and feel energized not get ripped off by AARP again!    

valerieb
Honored Social Butterfly


@valerieb187708 wrote:

well, just checked FLIP50, and sadly, since it's touted as AARP - i don't trust anything they support or recommend, so i'll just (hopefully) shovel snow, run up and down the steps, garden in the spring, and feel energized not get ripped off by AARP again!    


Tivity Health is the company that owns both the Silver Sneakers program and the FLIP50 program.  

Tivity Health announces AARP FLIP50 Healthy Lifestyle Program

 

Edited to add:  you could also check to see if the Silver Sneakers FLEX program is offered in some area in your community - sometimes they offer this program, depending upon the extent of their classes, at a very cheap price even if you aren't eligible via an insurance plan.

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Attention all those who think they cannot switch to another company until next December. Medical Mutual of Ohio is currently allowing those of us who have a Medicare Supplement with another company to switch to them with no health questions asked and you can do this for a few more months. I did it after December 7th and got my Silver Sneakers back AND saved money each month. I will not be sorry I made this move!

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The only reason I joined AARP was to get the United Healthcare Supplement. With UHC not continuing with Silver Sneakers, I see no need to continue with either of these organizations. The 24 Hour Fitness would not accept the confirmation code from UHC for the 50% off. UHC says that 24 Hour needs to call them - they would not call 24 Hour to help rectify this problem. 

There are many AARP UHC members in my former Silver Sneakers or whatever it is being called now. I have spent a lot of time talking with membership at 24 Hour and being forwarded from AARP to many people in UHC - but, no one except me, a customer, is doing anything to try to fix the problem. And the listing for fitness centers shows my 24 Hour fitness as having a pool, which it does not. Would love to have had a senior-friendly pool to use.

I am on disability and what might not seem like a lot of money (50% off of membership fee) to some is impossible for me.It is good to know the AARP really doesn't care, because it did not seem to fight for the Silver Sneakers benefit to continue.

Periodic Contributor

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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I know same here, I can't get a straight answer from anyone. This is a mess but I don't want to pay when I was getting it free all this time.

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Regular Contributor

I don't think we were getting anything for free.  We were paying for SilverSneakers as part of the health insurance package we were buying.  The presence of SilverSneakers made buying AARP-UHC insurance an attractive package.  In my case it was only a few weeks after beginning coverage with AARP-UHC that they changed what they were selling by removing SilverSneakers and replacing it with something that isn't nearly as good.  This changed my evaluation of the value of what I was purchasing through AARP-UHC from "attractive" to "unattractive".  Now I have the same package I used to have with AARP-UHC from Blue Cross - Blue Shield of Arizona for a little less money.  I came out of it okay, AARP-UHC loses my business and BCBS-AZ has a new customer.  Furthermore, I have no reason to renew my AARP membership.  I see only one loser in this situation.

 

The perks were part of the total package that AARP-UHC was offering.  Then they decided to change the package.  The result is a simple case of business economics.  Offer less value for the same price and you'll lose customers.

Regular Contributor

I, too switched away from UHC-AARP. I am disgusted with how they cancelled Silver Sneakers suddenly and without enough warning for many to change policies. I was able to switch to Medical Mutual AFTER the Dec 7 deadline because they have opened up a way to move over to them with NO health questions and open enrollment until I think June. If you are unhappy with this dirty trick, check into Medical Mutual now. I not only got Silver Sneakers back, but I am saving money every month!! Same Plan G, same great coverage. This applies to anyone who currrently has a Medicare supplement and wants to change to Med Mutual.

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