Medigap plans are a type of Medicare supplement that can be purchased to cover certain Medicare expenses. SilverSneakers is a program outside of Medicare where participants get free access to fitness classes.
However, some Medigap plans do not include SilverSneakers as an option. In this article, we will discuss which Medigap plans include the SilverSneakers program, who is eligible to enroll, and other fitness benefits offered by Medigap.
What is SilverSneakers?
SilverSneakers is a health and fitness program geared towards older adults. It’s offered to any individual who is at least 65 years old.
The SilverSneakers program offers live online workout classes and has a large library of recorded workouts. These workouts are designed specifically for older adults, and they are led by trained fitness instructors. Members can find any kind of workout routine they are looking for – there are yoga classes, Zumba classes, classes to help with balance, cardiovascular classes, fall prevention classes, and more.
There are also some gyms that participate in the program, and those who are enrolled in the SilverSneakers plan are eligible for a free gym membership. The most popular gyms that participate are Planet Fitness, LA Fitness, and 24 Hour Fitness.
The goal of the program is to help older adults stay healthy in both their minds and body. The program has shown excellent results. Of those enrolled, 88% said the program has improved their quality of life, and 94% would rate their health as “good” or better.
What Medigap Plans Offer Silver Sneakers?
Not every insurance carrier or plan will include the SilverSneakers program. The program is more often covered in Medicare Advantage plans, but some Medigap plans also include the program.
The list of carriers who include the program may change each year. As of 2021, the following carriers do offer it in some (not necessarily all) of their plans.
● Blue Cross Blue Shield
● Mutual of Omaha
● Kaiser Permanente
● Well Care
● United HealthCare
● Bankers Life
● Eon Health
● Care Plus
SilverSneakers.com has a section where you can find a Medicare Advantage or Medigap plan that is offered in your state that also includes SilverSneakers.
Will Medicare cover other gym memberships?
Original Medicare (Parts A and B) does not offer gym memberships. You’ll need to look at your supplement or Medicare Advantage plan to check for any fitness benefits.
While not common, there are some plans that offer benefits outside of SilverSneakers. Other programs to check for are Silver&Fit and SeniorPHIT.
This program offers many of the same benefits as SilverSneakers and is offered by more insurance carriers. Currently, there are nearly 70 carriers who have Silver&Fit as a benefit on some of their Medicare plans.
Though not as robust as the other two programs, SeniorPHIT (Personal Health Improvement Training) is still beneficial to members who obtain it.
This program offers two personal wellness plans, two personal meal plans, an online coach, and online access to healthy recipes and informative articles.
Does Medicare automatically include Silver Sneakers, or do you have to request?
If you enroll in a Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan that includes SilverSneakers, you’ll be automatically enrolled in the program. You can go to the SilverSneakers website and create an online account to get more details about the benefits the plan offers.
The program also has an app that you can put on your phone. You’ll be able to access your member ID card, schedule activities, track your fitness, find locations, and access workout classes wherever you are.
Can you get Silver Sneakers without Medicare plans?
The SilverSneakers program is only available to those with a qualifying Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan. You can check their website to see if you are eligible.
While the classes are made with older adults in mind, younger adults may also join the program if they have a Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan. This applies to individuals who have been receiving disability benefits for over 24 months.
SilverSneakers is an excellent benefit to have in your Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan. Health and wellness are important aspects of life at any age and are often forgotten as we get older. If you are fortunate enough to have this added benefit, use it!