Park Center to see changes in 2021

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With a new year, changes are on the way at the Perry Park Center. Recreation director Jim Cadwell and the staff at the Park Center wanted members and citizens of the community to be aware of four things that will be different when the calendar turns to 2021.

The first was the introduction of the Renew Active program.

The program is much like the Silver Sneakers plan through Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Renew Active allows seniors with United Healthcare to receive a Park Center pass at no cost. The program begins on Monday, Jan. 4.

“What the program is designed to do is get seniors out and about and then they are less likely to be sick and it drives the cost of healthcare and everyone is a winner with that,” Cadwell said

Not every United Healthcare is eligible for the Renew Active program, so Cadwell wanted to make sure that anyone who is interested in the program makes sure they are qualified.

“Not every policy is eligible for the program, so just because you have United Healthcare doesn’t mean that they can get Renew Active,” Cadwell said. “So just to make sure they can participate residents should get in contact with their insurance agent, or call the 1-800 number on the back of the card.”

The Park Center has about 50 residents that take advantage of the Silver Sneakers program.

There is another change for the structure of the “family pass.”

A pass for a family includes up to three adults and claimed dependents ages 26 and younger living at the same address. This allows for non-traditional household structures to be covered under the same PPC pass. The policy at the Park Center used to be dependents, but to coincide with the Affordable Cares Act, the age was bumped up to 26. The new pass structure begins after Jan. 1.

“Family used to be a mom and dad and a couple of kids, but now there is a bunch of variety when it comes to what a family looks like.” Cadwell said. “We need some sort of verification like a piece of mail that the group is actually at the same address.”

The annual passes, not only for the family, but also the individual will also see a change in how they are paid for.

In April, the Park Center will begin an Electronic Fund Transfer program, which will cut an annual pass into 12 equal payments that will come out of bank accounts monthly.

“Writing a check for one lump sum at the beginning of the year can be kind of expensive,” Cadwell said. “At the first of each month we will take out money directly from the clients’ bank account. We felt that would be budget-friendly to a lot of people. We want to make the Park Center more accessible to more people.”

The final change will be a major renovation to the locker rooms. The Park Center is adding private changing/shower stalls and two accessible family changing rooms, allowing both families and people with disabilities a private place to change and shower before and after their workouts. 

“It’s a little more privacy, so people aren’t changing clothes out in the open,” Cadwell said. “We are also upgrading our toilets that are 20-plus years old.”

The Park Center is seeing a lot of changes, but things that Cadwell believes are necessary.

“We believe we are careful stewards of the taxpayer’s money and we felt that this was important to improve the experience for the users of the Park Center,” Cadwell said.

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