What Is the SilverSneakers Program?

Fact Checked

SilverSneakers senior wellness program memberships are included in many Medicare Advantage (MA) or Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans. Members of participating Medicare plans can enjoy the benefits of SilverSneakers to increase mental enrichment and social connectivity. Not only does SilverSneakers offer gym memberships at participating locations, but it offers a chance to meet people and create new friendships.

What Is the SilverSneakers Program?

SilverSneakers is a wellness program for senior citizens with health programs and gym memberships exclusively for seniors. Membership is covered under many Medicare plans by various carriers. This program comes at no cost to members and provides wellness benefits to get active and support wellness, including gym facility use, fitness classes, online wellness resources, and community support.

What Does SilverSneakers Include?

There are many different ways a member can take advantage of the Medicare perks offered by SilverSneakers. Whether it’s online exercise classes, health seminars, or even attending a participating health facility while traveling, it’s a potentially great benefit. Also, there are various activities for seniors outside of the gym, such as park workouts and going for a hike.

SilverSneakers has more than 17,000 participating gyms and community centers throughout the U.S. and offers many health benefits for seniors, including:

  • Gym access, including cardio equipment such as treadmills, bikes, and ellipticals. Also, strength equipment such as weights, strength machines, and resistance bands. You can also use everything your fitness location offers, including pools, hot tubs, saunas, and tennis courts.
  • Exercise classes multiple times per day, including in person (indoor and outdoor) and online classes through Zoom and the SilverSneakers GO app.
  • Workshops that focus on mental health and well-being for seniors. These can be accessed through live workshops in person, online, or the SilverSneakers GO app.

You can find participating SilverSneakers fitness locations using the SilverSneakers website.

Are There Similar Programs to SilverSneakers?

A couple of similar programs similar to SilverSneakers are Renew Active and Silver&Fit. These programs are available to members of specific Medicare companies for certain plans.

  • Renew Active: UnitedHealthcare offers Renew Active, which offers a free gym membership, an annual personalized fitness plan, and on-demand and live streaming fitness classes.
  • Silver&Fit: Silver&Fit offers fitness center access, healthy aging coaching and content, home fitness kits, and workout videos on demand.

Does Medicare Automatically Cover SilverSneakers?

SilverSneakers membership comes with many Medicare plans, but coverage is not automatic and not offered by every plan. You won’t get SilverSneakers with Original Medicare, though SilverSneakers is often available with MA or Medigap plans.

Use the SilverSneakers plan finder to see participating health plans in your state.

Original Medicare Parts A and B do not cover fitness programs or gym memberships. Since SilverSneakers falls under this category, Original Medicare doesn’t cover it.

You need to be enrolled in an MA Plan (Part C) or Medicare Supplement Plan with a carrier that offers SilverSneakers to have access to the benefit. Not all companies offer that Medicare perk, and insurance companies can choose to opt in or out of the program for the benefit year.

If your plan covers SilverSneakers, you’ll get the program benefits entirely free of charge. You can sign up for SilverSneakers on the program’s website.

How Do You Find Out if Your Medicare Plan Covers SilverSneakers or Another Program?

There are many ways to find out if your Medicare plan offers a health program.

  • Go to SilverSneakers.com to search if your plan covers SilverSneakers.
  • Contact your Medicare Health plan directly to see if they participate. Check the website or call the member services number listed on the back of your ID card.
  • Reach out to your Medicare health broker that set you up with the plan as they will have access to that information.
Medicare Consultant

Michele Dubbert is a licensed independent health insurance agent, working with individuals, families and small businesses. She has been in the Health Insurance industry since 2013. Her passion and specialty prevail in Medicare as she truly enjoys working with this age group.

She takes joy in learning about her clients and their needs. This assists in finding the right plan that fits their lifestyles and most importantly gives them piece of mind. Many of her clients come to her frustrated with the Medicare process, so she helps them from beginning to end.

Being a broker for many carriers allows her to offer her clients a wide range of coverage options. Her office is based in Fort Collins, CO, but serves all of Colorado. She continues to further her experience with trainings and education and is expanding to additional service states.

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