According to National Public Radio (NPR), UnitedHealthcare (UHC), which offers Medicare Advantage plans endorsed by AARP, decided to drop a partnership with SilverSneakers late last year. The article features members who are unhappy with the split.

In the same article, UHC also announced that it would offer a new fitness benefit for Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans called Renew Active.

The new benefit may offer gym discounts for policyholders, and the MA benefit may cover gym memberships and fitness classes much like SilverSneakers.

Why Did UHC Drop SilverSneakers?

Steve Warner, who leads UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage product team, noted that over 90 percent of UHC members who are eligible for SilverSneakers “never step foot in a gym” or use this benefit.

UnitedHealthcare wants to reach “a broader portion of our membership” with a “wider variety of fitness resources,” he said. 

According to the NPR article, “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.”

Selling Renew Active™

Clients who are upset about the SilverSneakers change should be encouraged to look into Renew Active ™. You can tell your clients that Renew Active ™ is sort of like the AARP/UHC replacement for SilverSneakers. It includes a gym membership, some personal training, and classes & group activities.

What Should I Tell Clients?

Client Meeting - Senior Market Advisors
Client Meeting – Senior Market Advisors

If your client chose a UHC plan because of its SilverSneakers benefit, discuss the new UHC fitness benefit. If it doesn’t sound appealing to your client, look for a comparable plan with a fitness benefit. 

For example, let’s say your client’s favorite gym doesn’t accept Renew Active. Look for plans with comparable pricing, star ratings, and other benefits. You might find a plan that lets your client keep his or her doctor and also offers a SilverSneakers or Silver & Fit benefit. (Silver & Fit is a similar benefit to SilverSneakers and it may work with more fitness centers.)

If you offer a new plan, explain the pros and cons. Your goal is to find the best fit for your client. 

UHC Isn’t the Only Organization to Stop Working With Silver Sneakers

The Tennessee Alliance of YMCAs recently terminated its partnership with SilverSneakers. For our agents in Tennessee, that means your clients won’t have access to 44 fitness centers across the state.

However, Tennessee YMCA locations will still accept Silver & Fit. 

Just like with your UHC clients, if your clients used the YMCA with their SilverSneakers benefit, look for similar plans that offer Silver & Fit. 

Your clients may be uncomfortable with any change, so you’ll need to express empathy. If you want to be successful as a medical insurance sales agent, you have to hone your listening skills. 

Listen to not only what your clients are saying, but how they say it. Don’t try to force your client into a plan they don’t want. That’s how you lose a valuable customer.

Partner With Us for More Success Selling Medicare Insurance

Senior Market Advisors (SMA) partners with all of the major Medicare Advantage carriers. That’s so you can offer clients an unbiased list of options. You’ll have more success if you can offer clients plans that fit all of their needs. 

We understand our agents’ needs. You don’t want to go out and find leads. You want to make sales. When you partner with us, you get an experienced sales and marketing team to generate leads. Not only that, but you get extensive sales training and free access to our proprietary CRM so you can effectively manage your new relationships. Ready to start? Call 1-844-452-8020 or eContract with us here today.

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