Silver Sneakers program dropped by YMCA

Posted at 5:52 PM, Sep 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-19 20:06:22-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Seniors who are 65 years or older and on the Silver Sneakers program will soon lose their memberships to the YMCA.

Representatives for Tivity Health, the parent company for Silver Sneakers, said the two organizations couldn't reach an agreement about the price for members.

Silver Sneakers gives people a membership to the Y through Medicare Advantage. This year, the YMCA wanted to increase what Tivity pays for the memberships. However, Tivity Health spokesperson Steve Janicak, said the Y was asking for too much. In some cases, an increase of 140%. Janicak wouldn't say how much money it would cost the company.

"We're a publicly traded company. That's just not doable," said Janicak. "So, we started the negotiations, we worked with them for over six months. Then they made the decision to walk away from us. We didn't make the decision to walk away from them."

A spokesperson for the YMCA says it's not that simple. The Y is a non-profit organization. They said the current amount they were charging Tivity was not sustainable long term.

YMCA released this statement:

"The decision to withdraw from SilverSneakers was not a quick one or a desired one. Make no mistake: this decision will have a negative financial impact on our YMCAs and cause confusion for seniors in the short term. However, that short term impact will be much easier to weather than a long-term relationship with SilverSneakers, which would impair the Y’s ability to serve seniors, kids and families. The Y will work very hard to make sure that all seniors have an opportunity to continue to enjoy the services and the social interaction at the Y that has made it such a treasured place for seniors to spend time."

Janicak said there are still other gyms in Middle Tennessee that its members can use for their fitness and health needs. A spokesperson for the Y said that there are other programs through Medicare that allow seniors to have memberships with the Y.