On Tuesday, September 17, it was announced that the Tennessee State Alliance of YMCAs would not be participating in the SilverSneakers network in 2020 (effective Jan 1).
While your clients with SilverSneakers won’t be losing their program access, many (especially in rural areas) will lose a large part of their network. Major gyms (Gold’s Gym, Planet Fitness, etc.) will remain part of the network but have less locations (especially outside of cities).
Additionally, if a client wanted to keep visiting the YMCA regardless of this change, they’d have to start paying monthly fees. Senior YMCA membership costs vary across the state but can be pricey. MiddleTN charges $59 per month for those aged 65+.
What Does This Mean for Insurance Agents?
It could mean that your clients are going to be looking to swap their current coverage this AEP due to a decreased perceived value in their SilverSneakers benefit.
This news could not have come at a better time as we are gearing up for AEP! Use this news as an opportunity to reach out to those clients that you have sold Medicare Advantage with SilverSneakers to and ask if they are interested in switching to Silver & Fit, which still works with YMCAs.
It is imperative that you are the first agent to reach out to them about this. As all licensed agents become aware of this news, everyone will be preparing with a list of plans that offer Silver & Fit, especially in areas where YMCAs are much more prevalent than other gyms.
Even if your clients don’t need to change plans, you’ll want to be the first to reach out to answer any questions they have about this change. They may be 100% okay with the change, and another agent may convince them that Silver & Fit is better anyway! It is ALWAYS best to be the first person to get to your clients to keep them on board with you.
Selling Tennessee Medicare Fitness Programs
SilverSneakers may still be a popular and valuable benefit, but it is important to be aware when talking to clients about it that YMCAs will no longer be in the network (in Tennessee) starting January 1, 2020.
When using it as a selling point, be sure to pull up the SilverSneakers website and search for available gyms near your client’s home. If your client is considering several different Medicare Advantage plans and Silver & Fit is also an option, pull up the Silver & Fit site as well to show the different locations and different benefits.
We do also have resources on our consumer-facing website that outline different SilverSneakers and Silver & Fit benefits and locations:
- View SilverSneakers locations in Chattanooga
- View SilverSneakers locations in Knoxville
- View SilverSneakers locations in Nashville
- View SilverSneakers locations in Memphis
Silver & Fit:
- View Silver & Fit locations in Chattanooga
- View Silver & Fit locations in Knoxville
- View Silver & Fit locations in Nashville
- View Silver & Fit locations in Memphis
You can also send this blog to your clients if they are seeking more information about this change.
Tools for Selling Medicare Fitness Programs as a Benefit
Fitness programs as benefits can turn into huge selling points for Medicare Advantage plans. So how do you use them to close the sale?
Don’t push it…lead them to it.
Instead of trying to convince your clients that they need a fitness benefit as a part of their Medicare Advantage coverage, ask questions to lead them there. Ask if they currently pay a gym membership fee or if they are looking for a place to exercise. If your client says that they don’t exercise, they have a home gym already, or they don’t care about that benefit, move on. There’s no reason to sell someone a benefit they don’t need. That’s why you should have tons of Medicare Advantage plans in your back pocket anyway, so you can turn over to a plan that makes more sense for that client.
Big programs like SilverSneakers and Silver & Fit may have materials that you can bring with you to your appointments. Instead of merely explaining with your words what the programs are, you can show your clients pictures and videos of what the programs can do. Reach out to the carriers that you’re contracted with and ask if they have additional fitness program materials that you can use.
Don’t Ignore the Other Benefits
For some people, fitness programs may be the most important thing, while for others, it may just be a nice added benefit. Don’t focus so much on fitness programs that you forget to mention all of the other plan details. You may not know how important the benefit really is to someone.
Join an FMO for Marketing Support
To be a successful salesperson, you have to put all of your energy into each sale. It can be hard to do that when you’re also worried about all of the details that happen before and after every sale. With a great field marketing organization like Senior Market Advisors behind you, you may not have to worry about all of the little details. We can customize marketing materials for you, we can help you generate leads, and we can still give you top-tier commissions.
So, what are you waiting for? Start contracting today so you can capitalize on this major SilverSneakers/YMCA change this AEP. Call 1-844-452-5020 to get answers to all of your burning questions.