UnitedHealthcare Customers Are Unhappy About Cuts To SilverSneakers Fitness Program

Dec 5, 2018

  1. Northeast Agent
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    UnitedHealthcare Customers Are Unhappy About Cuts To SilverSneakers Fitness Program

    A controversial business decision by UnitedHealthcare, the nation's largest health insurance carrier, is causing the disruption. As of Jan. 1, the company is dropping SilverSneakers — an optional benefit — for 1.2 million customers with Medicare Advantage plans in 11 states (California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina and Utah) as well as 1.3 million customers with Medicare supplemental (Medigap) insurance in nine states (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin).

    Starting next year, UnitedHealthcare will offer members a package of fitness and wellness benefits instead of paying to use SilverSneakers — a move that will give the company more control over its benefits and may save it money.

    Seniors with UnitedHealthcare Medicare supplemental policies will get 50 percent off memberships at thousands of gyms across the country, telephone access to wellness coaches and access to various online communities and health-related resources.

    Those with Medicare Advantage policies can join Renew Active, UnitedHealthcare's fitness program, with a network of more than 7,000 sites, at no cost, and qualify for an evaluation from a personal trainer and an online brain-training program, among other services.

    Steve Warner, who leads UnitedHealthcare's Medicare Advantage product team, explained the company's move by noting that over 90 percent of policyholders who are eligible for SilverSneakers "never step foot in a gym" or use this benefit.
     
  2. axeman462
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    axeman462 Guru

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    this happened in Florida a few years ago. didnt have a single client leave UHC
     
  3. vic120
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    Outside of NY an FL I only have a few on AARP that could pass underwriting elsewhere, They were stuck on AARP on of the reason was silver sneakers, Each has called me and I was able to switch all of them this year.
     
    vic120, Dec 5, 2018
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  4. Chazm
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    Chazm Guru

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    Renew active is the same if not better than silver sneakers. It’s been a non issue.
     
    Chazm, Dec 5, 2018
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  5. vic120
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    vic120 Guru

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    On med supp, in some states, they are doing away with Gym or only paying half or something like that, most are not happy

    As far as MA no one is really having an issue with renew at least as of yet
     
    vic120, Dec 5, 2018
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  6. somarco
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    somarco That Medicare Guy

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    It is my understanding that UHC dominates the FL market . . . more so than in other states.

    My suspicion is, if they left UHC they would probably pay more and/or have fewer provider choices.
     
    somarco, Dec 5, 2018
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  7. GoPokes
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    UHC Rolled out Renew Active starting in 2018 in Oklahoma. I talked to a member yesterday about it. He used to use silver sneakers all the time, and this year he has used Renew Active. He said he cant find any difference. I'll also add that I noticed renew active includes access to a Lifetime Fitness near here, and silver sneakers doesnt. That gym membership alone is about $100/month or so.
     
    GoPokes, Dec 6, 2018 at 4:49 PM
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  8. yabadabadoo1026
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    yabadabadoo1026 Guru

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    UHC.s plans just scream "cheap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" in Ga-----not even competitive. No preventative dental at all in their AARP plan and what beancounter dreams up so something as stupid as $70 every 2 years for eyeglasses which its been for years as the completion increases theirs. That later is so laughable and embarrassing I will not sell that plan and its put a bad taste in my mouth bout them all down their product line. While other carriers reduce doctor copays realizing the competitiveness down here UHC increases theirs. I'm moving folks out of their plans on principal, if they don't want to be competitive they don't deserve biz
     
  9. sshafran
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    I had a nice block of UHC in OH and it was a big deal this AEP. Every time one of my UHC clients called, they mentioned it.

    Some switched to carriers with silver sneakers... some stayed with UHC, and others moved to new carriers with no SS.

    some grumbled, and when I asked, "were you able to use SilverSneakers a lot this year - like a few times a week." almost all of them said, well, no, I didn't use it, but I will next year!

    lol - that was the funny part. All of them "planned on using it next year."

    I used this as an opportunity to say, Ok, we can either switch and only look at options with SS, or we can look at all options, and likely save you approx $30-40/mo. Do you think the gym membership, at this point, is worth the extra $400/yr?

    I do have several very faithful gym users, and it did affect them.

    Too bad when we change carriers, we re-start the 6yr commission cycle... :biggrin::noteworthy:;)
     
    sshafran, Dec 7, 2018 at 4:11 PM
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  10. somarco
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    somarco That Medicare Guy

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    In the past, very few people wanted SS. The few carriers we had that included SS did not write G, but they did write F.

    About 90% of my clients have G and they did not want to pay an extra $60+ for the F plan just to get SS.

    This year EVERYONE (it seems) wants SS. Now Anthem apps are flying off the shelf like hot Christmas toys.

    Doesn't hurt one bit that Anthem has a nice bonus for production.
     
    somarco, Dec 7, 2018 at 5:41 PM
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