Saturday, January 26, 2019

Silver Sneakers hubbub and getting the most out of your benefits

My library classes are sponsored by Silver Sneakers(TM) which is a brand of Tivity (formerly Healthways).

Tivity works with Insurance companies to provide access to fitness programs at gyms and external locations (like my classes at libraries, called Flex classes). The insurance company contract with Tivity, and when one of their members checks in to one of the gyms, or signs in to one of my classes, the insurance company pays a fee to Tivity (who in turn pays a small stipend to the gym or for Flex classes, the instructor, aka, me).

There has been a big hubbub because one of the big insurance carriers dropped the Silver Sneakers contract (and replaced it with something else). Their members have access to an assortment of other fitness benefits (gyms and what not), but they don't necessarily have access to the same clubs as Silver Sneakers and they don't have the Flex instructor listing.

My classes, are free for anyone to attend. My Tivity coordinator was very complimentary when I explained to her why I do it this way, as opposed to charging a fee to the non-Silver members. Part of the reason is that my locations won't let me, but moreover, I think that yoga should be financially accessible to the community. Teaching seven of these classes a week helps make it work as a job for me as the county pays a small amount to support the community, and the attendees are often generous enough to make gratitude donations in appreciation, whenever they can. It's a business model that works for us.

But back to my original point, Silver Sneakers.

I find frequently that people do not know if they are a Silver Sneakers member or not. American Specialty Health does have a program of it's own with Kaiser Permanent called Silver and Fit, and often people know about that one (I'm going to be on their Active Options instructor roster soon too). But as far as the Silver Sneakers, either the insurance company hasn't explicity told them about their membership (perhaps to avoid having to pay into the system?) or the person just doesn't understand how it works. When someone comes to my class I can try to check their status by entering in a legal name and birthday but some folks, in this era of data privacy, are resistant.

With one of the large carriers dropping the program I had to do a big investigation into who was "left" and what I could do about the loss of income due to so many people having their policies changed.

So with that in mind I'm listing here all the companies to date that DO have the Silver Sneakers benefit in their programs. Please, investigate with your policy, and even check on the website to see if you are in the group. You might be missing out on the opportunity to go to your favorite local gym and take classes, go swimming or get training for free. You also have access to online tools for health and fitness management, as well as listings of all the Flex classes that are out there (like, mine!).

The list below ONLY applies to California, but please use the link to get to your state and explore your options!
  • Aetna Medicare MAPD* 
  • Anthem Blue Cross Cal MediConnect Plan 
  • Anthem MediBlue Coordination Plus (HMO) 
  • Anthem MediBlue Access (PPO) 
  • Anthem Value Plus (HMO) 
  • Anthem Connect (HMO SNP) 
  • Anthem Diabetes (HMO SNP) 
  • Anthem Care on Site (HMO SNP) 
  • Anthem Heart (HMO SNP) 
  • Anthem Breathe (HMO SNP) 
  • Anthem ESRD (HMO SNP) 
  • Anthem MediBlue Dual Advantage (HMO SNP) 
  • Anthem MediBlue Plus (HMO) 
  • Anthem MediBlue Select (HMO) 
  • Anthem StartSmart Plus (HMO POS) 
  • Anthem Medicare Supplement Plans A, F, Innovative F, G & N 
  • Anthem CalPERS PPO Supplement to Medicare Plan for 
  • Anthem PERS Select, PERS Choice, and PERSCare plans 
  • Blue Shield Medicare Supplement plans 
  • Blue Shield Trio Medicare 
  • Blue Shield 65+ 
  • Blue Shield 65+ Choice 
  • Promise Health Plan Care1st Health Plan AdvantageOptimum Plan 
  • Promise Health Plan Care1st Health Plan Coordinated Choice Plan 
  • Promise Health Plan Care1st Health Plan Total Dual Plan 
  • Humana Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement 
  • L.A. Care Cal MediConnect Plan (MMP) 
  • SCAN Health Plan 

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