Fitness is an essential part of staying healthy. Staying fit as you age will help ensure you are healthier longer and live a vibrant life.

When retiring, we transition to a paycheck to live off social security. Cutting costs become necessary, and gym memberships are one of the first things to go.

Thankfully some options are low or no cost, which allows you to maintain your physical health. Medicare beneficiaries may have access to fitness benefits through their Medicare plan.

SilverSneakers Program

SilverSneakers is one of the most popular gym memberships used by Medicare beneficiaries. SilverSneakers boasts access to many gyms nationwide with classes specially designed for beneficiaries and access to pools and walking tracks in some locations.

Medicare and Gym Memberships

Medicare does not cover fitness or gym programs. Original Medicare only covers hospital services and medical services. Fitness does not fall under those categories, so a gym membership or a fitness plan would not be covered.

Medicare Supplement Plans that Cover SilverSneakers

Many Medicare supplement plans include some access to gym memberships. As far as silver sneakers go, few Medigap carriers offer SilverSneakers.

Most Medicare Supplement plans have some sort of added gym membership you can access. Many have an additional premium for these services.

For example, Cigna offers Silver and Fit in some areas. It is approximately $25 a month, and Mutual Of Omaha has its Mutually Well fitness program.

Medicare Advantage Plans that Cover Fitness Benefits

Most Medicare Advantage plans have fitness benefits, and the majority do offer SilverSneakers.

There are a few other fitness benefits provided by some Medicare Advantage carriers. In most cases, the fitness benefit is included at no additional cost on Medicare Advantage Plans.

Do Part D plans include SilverSneakers?

No. Part D prescription drug plans do not include gym memberships. You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that provides drug coverage to access a fitness program.

What Benefits do I have with SilverSneakers?

Medicare beneficiaries with SilverSneakers enjoy various benefits, including classes on location and online.

Online Services

Live online classes allow members to watch and participate live with an instructor. They are available for anyone regardless of physical limitations, with instructors that cater to all skill levels. The filters are easy to use to ensure you find the class style that fits your needs.

On-demand services include nutrition and workout videos you can access at any time. The nutrition videos can help you eat healthily. The on-demand workout videos allow you to work out from home at your schedule and speed.

All online classes and videos include balance, flexibility/mobility, strength, cardio, and more options. There is something for everyone, no matter your needs.

Gym Locations and Services

With more than 15,000 participating locations, finding a provider near you is easy. You can visit the locations to use facilities and take various classes to help with flexibility, strength, balance, and cardio.

Qualifying for SilverSneakers or a Fitness Program

Qualifying for fitness programs requires that you are Medicare eligible, are enrolled in a Plan that offers the fitness benefit. If there is an additional premium, you must pay that premium to use the services. SilverSneakers does not have an additional cost.

Benefits of Being and Staying Fit as We Age

Balance is critical as we age. As our body gets weaker, the likelihood of falling increases. I can think of many instances in my life where someone I knew was doing fine. After a fall, their health deteriorated quickly.

The older we get, the longer it takes our bodies to heal. The best way to avoid a falling injury is to do exercises to help improve and maintain our abilities to balance.

Strength training is a little different from when we are younger. As we age, maintaining our strength is vital to keep our bodies strong enough to handle the tasks we complete daily. Strength training will also slow the pace that your muscles weaken.

Cardiovascular endurance will help with being healthy in many ways. The most notable will be lung health and oxygen levels. Staying cardio-healthy will increase lung capacity, increasing the amount of oxygen your body receives. Oxygen helps keep all aspects of your body healthy.

Flexibility/Mobility goes hand in hand with balance. If you can move more freely and have more elasticity of your joints and tendons, you are more likely to keep your balance.

Maintaining and increasing your flexibility will also lower joint and muscle pain, making day-to-day life more enjoyable.

Studies have shown that staying physically active also increases brain functions.

SilverSneakers vs. Other Fitness Programs

While there are a few other fitness programs out there through different carriers, SilverSneakers has and continues to be the most popular. Most of the other programs do require you to pay additional fees. If you have access to a fitness program, you should take full advantage of it. This will assist in your living a longer and more full life.

How Can I Tell if I Have a Gym Membership on My Plan?

Suppose you are on a Medicare plan that includes a gym membership option. In that case, you can look at your plan’s summary of benefits or evidence of coverage for more details. You can also call the customer service number on the back of your insurance card.

If you need help finding a plan with a gym membership or SilverSneakers, give us a call, or fill out our online request form. We will be happy to help you find a plan that meets your needs and includes a fitness benefit like SilverSneakers.

Written By:
Picture of the author
Lindsay Malzone, Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare editor for Medigap.com. She's been contributing to many well-known publications since 2017. Her passion is educating Medicare beneficiaries on all their supplemental Medicare options so they can make an informed decision on their healthcare coverage.
Reviewed By:
Picture of the expert
Rodolfo Marrero, Rodolfo Marrero is one of the co-founders at Medigap.com. He has been helping consumers find the right coverage since the site was founded in 2013. Rodolfo is a licensed insurance agent that works hand-in-hand with the team to ensure the accuracy of the content.