What Insurance Plans Include SilverSneakers?Learn everything you need to know about SilverSneakers, what it offers, whether Medicare covers it, and how it can help you.
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SilverSneakers is a health and fitness program for older individuals that includes gym access and workout sessions for which some Medicare plans supply coverage.
This is great news for seniors as physical activity can help you age well. In fact, a PubMed study of SilverSneakers participants found that individuals who went to the gym regularly had higher self-reported physical and mental health scores.
In this article, we will go over the SilverSneakers fitness program, and which Medicare plans offer it as a benefit.
What Is a SilverSneakers Program?
Many Medicare Advantage Plans and some Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap) include a SilverSneakers benefit for their members. SilverSneakers is a health and fitness program that is specifically aimed at adults aged 65 and older.
SilverSneaker benefits include:
The use of participating gym facilities (including fitness equipment, pools, and walking tracks).
Fitness classes designed for older adults of any fitness level (including cardio workouts, strength training, and yoga).
Access to online resources (such as workout videos and nutrition and fitness advice).
Fitness programs not only help to improve your overall health, but may also lower your overall healthcare costs. For older people, exercise is an important activity. Maintaining physical activity can help you:
Preserve mobility and physical function.
Improve your mood.
Make daily tasks simpler.
The program caters to adults aged 65 and over. However, it is also available to younger people with Medicare Advantage Plans. The great thing about SIlverSneakers is that members can visit thousands of gyms and fitness facilities across the country.
What Are Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) and Medicare Supplement Plans?
Medicare Advantage (Part C)
Medicare Advantage Plans, or Medicare Part C, are sold by private health insurance companies. These plans cover everything from Medicare Part A and Part B, and sometimes even prescription drugs.
Your monthly premium, deductible, coinsurance, and other costs will depend on the insurance plans you choose. However, there is a set out-of-pocket maximum limit that all plans have to follow.
Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, also known as Medigap plans, are health insurance policies for people who have Original Medicare cover.
Like Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplement plans help pay for the additional costs of Original Medicare services, items, and equipment, and some plans even offer prescription drug coverage.
As a member of a Medicare Supplement Plan, you will pay a monthly fee on top of your Original Medicare premiums and get additional coverage for costs that Original Medicare doesn’t pay for.
Does Medicare Cover SilverSneakers?
SilverSneakers is a wellness program, rather than a medical benefit. As a result, the federal Medicare program does not cover the membership.
However, a private health insurance company (Medicare Advantage) that is approved to cover Medicare-related services can cover the SilverSneaker membership.
You can sign up for the SilverSneakers program on the SilverSneakers website if your plan covers it. You'll be given a SilverSneakers membership card with a member ID number after you sign up.
SilverSneakers members get access to any of the program's participating gyms. You can enroll at your preferred gym with your membership card. After that, you'll have free access to all SilverSneakers advantages.
It's important to keep in mind that the benefits of Medicare Advantage Plans might change from year to year. Make sure to check that your plan will continue to provide the same benefits in the future.
If SilverSneakers is not available in your plan, or does not run in your state, you can sign up for its alternative, Silver&Fit.
Silver&Fit is just another fitness and wellness membership program that some Medicare Advantage Plans offer to their members. Some Medicare Supplement plans also offer Silver&Fit to their members.
The fastest way to find out whether there are Medicare Advantage Plans in your state that offer Silver Sneakers or Silver&Fit is to speak with a Medicare agent. Reach out to our team if you need assistance.
What’s most important is finding a Medicare plan that includes fitness benefits and meets your other health needs and personal goals.
How Much Do SilverSneakers Cost?
The SilverSneakers program, including its perks, are available to Medicare Advantage members that are on plans that offer this benefit.
The cost of joining Silver Sneakers will usually be included in your monthly Medicare Advantage premiums.
However, anything additional that is not covered by the SilverSneakers program will be your responsibility to pay for.
If you're not sure what's included at a particular gym, make sure to ask your Medicare Advantage Plan or the SilverSneakers program about the facilities, services, and classes you can attend.
Keep in mind that specific amenities and classes might differ at every gym. Before you join the Silver Sneakers program, check out whether the gyms in your area offer facilities that match your fitness goals.
How Does the SilverSneakers Program Work?
SilverSneakers is owned by a parent company called Tivity Health, Inc.
Tivity Health does not own the various gyms and facilities that SilverSneakers operates in. However, it is partnered with 17,000 locally-owned gyms, national fitness brands, and community-based organizations.
What Insurance Plans Include SilverSneakers?
There are various Medicare Advantage plans that offer SilverSneakers coverage. You can find out if SilverSneakers is offered in your county by using our Medicare Advantage plan finder or reaching out to one of our Medicare consultants.
Just remember that:
Every year the list of Medicare Advantage plans that offer SilverSneakers may change.
Even though the insurance provider is advertised as offering SilverSneakers, not all plans in all states or counties will offer this benefit.
Because of this, you should always double-check the details of Medicare Advantage plans in the area that you're considering.
In 2021, these were some of the insurance companies that offered SilverSneakers as part of their plan benefits:
If you would like to find other insurance companies that offer SilverSneakers or compare insurance plans that do, head over to the PolicyScout Medicare hub or speak with one of our consultants to find out which plans offer Silver Sneakers in your state.
What Does SilverSneakers Include and Exclude?
SilverSneakers membership classes are designed for elders and range from chair-supported yoga to high-intensity interval training sessions.
Typically, membership provides access to:
Strength training equipment.
Amenities (such as pools and walking tracks).
All SilverSneakers network classes.
Not only can you work out at the various SilverSneakers gyms, but a member can also access the hundreds of online guided workouts at the SilverSneakers website.
These videos include:
A basic membership plan means you’ll have access to all SilverSneakers facilities that participate in the network. However, keep in mind that different locations will offer different facilities, amenities, and classes.
Membership does not cover personal services or training. If you choose to use these additions, you will have to pay out-of-pocket.
How Can a SilverSneakers Plan Benefit You?
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, adults should perform 150 minutes of aerobic exercise plus two days of muscle-strengthening activity every week, — even just a few SilverSneakers lessons can help you achieve this.
SilverSneakers' services and communities help seniors connect with one another. It aims to assist seniors in overcoming loneliness and social isolation.
One 2018 survey found that 60% of SilverSneakers members stated they developed valuable ties with other members. It also found that the program improved the quality of life for 80% of people.
SilverSneakers members reported:
Greater well-being and independence.
Better balance, flexibility, and strength.
Less loneliness and depression.
Lower healthcare costs.
Fewer hospital admissions.
How Can You Get a SilverSneakers Membership?
SilverSneakers has a growing list of participating health plans and operating facilities.
If you have a favorite gym or fitness facility, see if they are a SilverSneakers partner. You can also consult your plan's provider or the SilverSneakers’ website for more information.
During Medicare's open enrollment period, between October 15 and December 7, be sure to look for SilverSneakers access within your Medicare Advantage plan.
In some cases, you may even make SilverSneakers one of the criteria for selecting your Medicare Supplement plan (Medigap Plan).
Remember, if you are a SilverSneakers member, you can visit any SilverSneakers location in the country and you won’t be limited to those in your area or only one location.
Important Enrollment Dates to Keep In MindInitial Enrollment Period
Known as the IEP, this is your first opportunity to enroll in Medicare once you've reached the age of 65, and it starts three months before your 65th birthday.
You can enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, as well as a Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan, during the IEP.General Enrollment Period
If you missed the Initial Enrollment Period, the General Enrollment Period lets you sign up for Parts A and B, as well as a Medicare Advantage Plan, from January 1 to March 31.Open Enrollment Period
From October 15th through December 7th, there is an Open Enrollment Period.
You'll have the option of enrolling in a Medicare Advantage Plan or switching Medicare Advantage programs. Changes to your Medicare coverage will come into effect on January 1st.Special Enrollment Period
This refers to circumstances in which you can enroll outside of the typical enrollment times (for example, if you move states or if your healthcare coverage under an employer ends). Each person's Special Enrollment Period begins on a different day.
Where Can I Learn More about Medicare Benefits, Plans, and Costs?
If you’re interested in learning more about Medicare plans, such as Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Supplement Insurance, visit our Medicare Hub to read our latest articles.
If you are just interested in SilverSneakers plans, however, PolicyScout can help you find answers to the questions you may have.
Reach out on 1-888-912-2132 or email@example.com to get one-on-one assistance with your life insurance questions. Our medicare agents can assist if you have any questions or want to speak to someone about your Medicare options.