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Medicare SilverSneakers Program

Summary: SilverSneakers is a gym membership program that allows free and discounted gym memberships to eligible seniors. This program helps seniors stay active and engaged as they age. Estimated Read Time: 4 min

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Health and wellness are essential at any stage of life. However, as we age, we notice just how important it is to stay active. SilverSneakers is a program that helps keep seniors motivated to live a healthy lifestyle. This program is a benefit you may even have access to now without knowing.

The SilverSneakers program consists of gym memberships, group fitness classes, and access to well-trained instructors and reputable fitness centers. Many Medicare plans offer these benefits to their policyholders at no additional cost.

If you are a Medicare beneficiary and want access to a local gym or on-demand workouts, the SilverSneakers program might be right for you.

What is SilverSneakers?

SilverSneakers is a fitness program available to Medicare beneficiaries. The program promotes optimal health and can help create bonds within communities.

Group fitness classes, one-on-one lessons, and local gym memberships are just a fraction of the benefits available for SilverSneakers Medicare enrollees. The wellness program is available nationwide and provides members with a network of more than 16,000 fitness centers.

For those who are tech-savvy, the SilverSneakers GO mobile app allows you to receive a digital membership card and workouts on the go.

The program aims to help seniors find a healthy, supportive community online and in person. A top priority of the SilverSneakers program is to allow seniors to improve their quality of life and enjoy doing it.

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Does Medicare Cover SilverSneakers?

Medicare does not cover the costs of fitness programs and gym memberships. Thus, Original Medicare does not cover the cost of SilverSneakers.

Medicare Advantage plans can offer additional benefits unavailable through Original Medicare. Often, these plans include some type of gym membership or wellness program.

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) policies do not include coverage for gym memberships. However, some carriers offer these benefits to their enrollees. The availability of these plans also varies by state, so speaking with a licensed agent is the best way to find out if you can enroll in a Medigap policy that includes coverage for a gym membership.

Private companies offer different plan options. Beneficiaries should compare plan rates in their area. Some plans include this benefit at no extra charge, while other policies require an additional payment for Medicare gym benefits.

SilverSneakers Program Eligibility

If you are a Medicare beneficiary under age 65, you may qualify for a Medicare Advantage plan with SilverSneakers. There is NO age requirement!

The SilverSneakers program requires the following:

  • Medicare-eligible.
  • Enrollment in a plan that includes a membership.
  • If the gym membership costs an extra fee, you must pay the premium.

However, to enroll, a plan must be available in your area. For example, those in Charleston, South Carolina, likely have more options than those in more rural areas due to the lack of an in-network gym.

How Do I Get My SilverSneakers Card?

Once you enroll in a plan that offers SilverSneakers benefits, you should receive a welcome package in the mail. This kit will include your SilverSneakers membership card and any essential information you should know about the health and fitness program.

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To activate your membership card, you will need to visit the SilverSneakers website or call the phone number provided in your welcome kit. Once activated, your SilverSneakers membership card can be used at any participating SilverSneakers location nationwide.

If you have any issues with your membership or need to request a new card, SilverSneakers customer service will be available to help you with any issues that arise.

Can I Join SilverSneakers Without Insurance?

Unfortunately, you cannot buy SilverSneakers outside of a health plan. The only way to enroll is through a private insurance company with a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan.

If you do not have one of these insurance plans, you will not be able to join SilverSneakers. However, there may be other fitness programs or gym memberships that are available to you. It’s worth checking with your local gym or community center to see if they offer any programs that are suitable for your needs. Additionally, there are many online resources and apps that offer fitness programs and workout routines that you can do from home.

How Old Do You Have to Be for SilverSneakers?

To enroll in the SilverSneakers program, you must have Medicare. Thus, those under 65 who are Medicare-eligible due to disability may be eligible. SilverSneakers is geared towards keeping seniors active. So, while there is no formal age requirement, the program is rarely offered to those under 65.

Does YMCA Accept SilverSneakers?

Several YMCA locations accept SilverSneakers as a form of payment for their memberships.

However, it’s important to note that not all YMCA locations participate in the SilverSneakers program, so you should check with your local YMCA to confirm whether they accept SilverSneakers and what the specific benefits are for SilverSneakers members. Additionally, some YMCA locations may have specific membership requirements or fees for SilverSneakers members, so it’s always a good idea to inquire about these details before signing up.

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How to Get a Gym Membership Through SilverSneakers

If access to fitness and gym benefits through the SilverSneakers program is at the top of your Medicare coverage wish list, our licensed agents will be sure to find the right plan for you. We understand that staying active is an integral part of aging and want to ensure our clients are in the best shape of their lives going into retirement.

For a free plan evaluation and comparison, give us a call or complete our online rate comparison form. We’re looking forward to working with you.

Sources

MedicareFAQ is dedicated to providing you with authentic and trustworthy Medicare information. We have strict sourcing guidelines and work diligently to serve our readers with accurate and up-to-date content.

  1. SilverSneakers Questions Answered, SilverSneakers. Accessed March 2022.
    https://www.silversneakers.com/blog/silversneakers-questions-answered/
Kayla Hopkins

Kayla Hopkins

Content Editor
Kayla Hopkins is an accomplished writer and Medicare guru serving as the Editor of MedicareFAQ.com. Upon completing her Communications degree from Ohio University, Kayla dedicated her time to understanding the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare. With her extensive background as a Licensed Medicare Insurance Agent, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her writing.
Ashlee Zareczny

Ashlee Zareczny

Compliance Manager
Ashlee Zareczny is the Compliance Manager for MedicareFAQ. As a licensed Medicare agent in all 50 states, she is dedicated to educating those eligible for Medicare by providing the necessary resources and tools. Additionally, Ashlee trains new and tenured Medicare agents on CMS compliance guidelines. Ashlee is a Medicare expert who specializes in Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Part D education.

66 thoughts on "Medicare SilverSneakers Program"

  1. Tryin to locate a YMCA that honors Silver Sneakers. Just spoke to rep. at the Y and was told that none of the Y’s for Central Md. accept Silver Sneakers. Who can I call to verify this .

    1. Hi Gail. You would have to contact your insurance company for your Silver Sneakers card if your plan participates in the program.

    1. Hi Tracy! SilverSneakers does not cover the cost of your Peloton membership at the moment. However, with the rising popularity of the workout program, this may be something they decide to cover in the future.

    1. Hello, Jenean. To order a replacement Medicare card, you will need to contact your local Social Security administration.

  2. I am eligible for Silver Sneakers and informed my gym manager at the gym I am a member of. This gym accepts Silver Sneakers. However the manager said my membership would not be free but would be discounted. She wrote up a new membership contract that included the discount. Do I need to cancel my membership all together first then present my silver sneakers number and start over?

    1. Diane, SilverSneakers typically will cover the full cost of a base gym membership. If your current membership is anything more than the base package offered at your gym, you may only receive a discount. You may want to speak about this with management at your gym.

  3. Hello
    my Husband will qualify for Silver Sneakers this January and
    I was wondering can I go under my husbands Silver Sneakers membership being I don’t qualify for it ?

    1. Hi Mary – unfortunately, you won’t be able to do so. Each individual must qualify and enroll separately, regardless of their marital status.

    1. Hi Sandra! Yes, the gym will bill your Medicare plan. There should be no lag as long as your gym has SilverSneakers classes.

  4. You stated in this article that Medigap plans do not cover Silver Sneakers. My Plan G Medicare Supplement plan with Anthem does cover Silver Sneakers.

    1. Hi Donna! The standardized benefits included with Medigap plans do not cover SilverSneakers. Your Medigap carrier, Anthem, includes SilverSneakers as an additional benefit. I hope this helps clarify!

  5. We have Medicare Advantage through United Healthcare. How much per visit do they pay the gym per visit for Silver Sneakers in Idaho? I have heard $2 and someone else said $3. We go regularly, but want to make sure we are not taking advantage of the gym as we appreciate the owners so much.

    1. Hi Carol! It depends on your Medicare Advantage carrier, they determine how much they will pay the gym per visit. The max the gym will receive in a single month from your Advantage plan carrier is $30.

  6. hi I just got my silver sneakers card and my gym fees are due Yes. They do except silver sneakers. what do I do?

    1. Hi Mary! I would recommend letting your gym know you now have SilverSneakers and show them your card to stop them from billing you.

  7. I already have 2 years gym membership paid in full. And now I just find out that I’m qualified for silver sneakers program, can it reimburse my already paid gym membership?

    1. Hi Connie! Unfortunately no… your SilverSneakers benefits do not cost the same as your annual gym membership. The costs of the classes are paid to the gym as you go vs prepaid.

    1. Hi Nancy! Most Medicare plans that include SilverSneakers are Medicare Advantage plans. However, some Medigap plans also include this fitness program.

  8. Can Silver Sneakers supply some of the equipment used in classes? I would love to bring my own since hearing some members developed some kind of skin infections. Maybe the gym does not clean and disinfect?

    1. Hi Gigi! Actually, SilverSneakers does allow you to order 1 fitness kit per the calendar year for free! To order your free SilverSneakers kit, please click here and follow the instructions below.

      1. Log into your online SilverSneakers account.
      2. Click on the member icon in the top right corner.
      3. Click “Benefits”
      4. Click on each kit to view the contents

      Once you have decided which kit you would like to receive please click order and confirm your address. As a reminder, there is no cost to you for the kit and you are eligible to receive one kit per the calendar year.

  9. I have a Medigap Humana F plan. I am 61 and disabled. Does my F plan pay for a gym membership like silver sneakers?

  10. Currently I am a member of Golds Gym and as of March this year I am qualified for SSneakers. Do I need to continue my Golds membership fees?

    1. Hi Josh! If you have a Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan that includes SilverSneakers, there’s no need to continue paying for a gym membership. However, if you want to stay at your local Golds Gym, it’s best to verify with them if they accept SilverSneakers before cancelling your membership.

    1. Hi Peter! Great question! Gyms are reimbursed $3 per visit up to a maximum of $30 per month. Therefore, if you don’t use the gym, the gym doesn’t get paid. If you only go one time that month, the gym will be paid $3. If you go 6 times that month, the gym will be paid $18. If you go every day, the gym will be paid $30.

  11. I’m qualified for Medicare next month and was told I would be able to use SilverSneakers but I’m 45. I’m reading it’s for 65 and over. I have disability insurance with Medicare so do I qualify?

    1. Hi Rhonda! As long as you have a Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan that includes SilverSneakers, you can use those benefits even if you’re under 65.

  12. I spend time between two states . 4 months one place and 8 months in other. What are the rules for being active at different facilities at different times on a regular basis

    1. Hi Deb! You’re allowed to visit any facility that accepts SilverSneakers between all states. There are no rules that specify you can only visit a facility at one location per state per the calendar year.

  13. When my husband turns 65 soon he will be eligible for silver sneakers. I am 5 years younger though, can I belong to silver sneakers or would I have to pay?

    1. Hi Jean! Unfortunately, SilverSneakers fitness programs are only for the Medicare beneficiary who is enrolled in a participating Medicare plan that includes the additional gym membership benefit. However, you can ask the gym if they are willing to give you some sort of discount for your membership since your husband has SilverSneakers. Since they get paid each time he does, they may be willing to work something out for you.

  14. Why is there no Silver Sneakers eligibility for disabled veterans. It only seems logical to me that this would be of a great advantage to us veterans and to your organization. Most veterans do not have, or are not eligible for civilian type medical insurance. Besides, why would we pay for additional insurance when we have already sacrificed enough of our lives? Please do not tell me to contact the VA, they already told me to contact you. I hate ping pong, its a really stupid game. Would it be possible to get a straight understandable answer from someone?

    1. Hi Paul! This is a great question! Unfortunately, we’re not Medicare, but I’ll answer the best I can. The reason Medicare beneficiaries get SilverSneakers is that their Medicare plan includes this gym membership benefit. The plan reimburses the gym when you use it. The VA would have to reimburse the gym as well to offer this benefit in some form. The benefit is through Medicare, not the gym itself. Therefore the VA would have to offer this benefit on their end. I would check with your local gyms to see if they offer a discounted membership program for veterans. Paul, thank you for your service!

    1. Hi Gerald! This depends on your location, SilverSneakers may or may not be available at a gym near you. I would call Anthem directly to find out.

  15. I am a United World Life Insurance Co/Mutual of Omaha Plan g member. Am I covered for Silver Sneakers or Silver and Fit?

  16. How much is silver sneakers if you only have Medicare A and B and Emblem health? I dont see a cost price anywhere and I am not adding to my Medicare.

    1. Hi Karen! Each carrier is different, but after doing a quick search, it looks like some EmblemHealth VIP Medicare Plans do include SilverSneakers. The ones that don’t automatically include it gives you the option to add it on as an “optional supplemental rider” for an additional $15 per month. I would contact EmblemHealth for more information. If it’s not included in your current plan, give us a call and we can find you a plan that does.

  17. I am on medicare and have empire plan as my second payer .I pay a monthly fee for the empire plan in New york .It covers me in Florida .Am I covered for silver sneakers?

    1. Hi Patrick! Unfortunately I don’t have the answer to this question. You would need to contact the support team over at Empire to confirm if you have SilverSneakers.

  18. Will you be canceling all of silver sneakers at all the gyms?? Heard that today at the gym. Please don’t because some people use the program because it is free and they can’t afford the gym payments. we older people need to work out to stay strong. Than

    1. Hi Marlene! SilverSneakers is not being cancelled across all gyms. Coverage for SilverSneakers depends on both your state of residence, as well as the carrier you choose to enroll with. SilverSneakers has a great tool you can use to figure out if your plan includes it. You can find that tool here.

  19. I am counting the months (2) until I will be eligible for Medicare, as I read all the information I have received it looks my current medical insurance I have from my past employer will become my supplemental policy, it is Texas’ “Blue Cross Blue Shield” Health Select. Will Silversneakers be available with this in Texas? Also what is the Fitness Kit asked earlier? Thank you.

    1. Hi Betty! Unfortunately, since we didn’t enroll you in your supplement policy, we cannot see if it includes SilverSneakers. Your best bet is to call Texas Blue Cross Blue Shield. Regarding the fitness kit, it’s a free mini workout kit that you can order from your SilverSneakers account dashboard.

  20. Social security takes 135.50 out of my disability check. Every month for medical. My question is does that pay for a supplement insurance company so I can get on silver sneakers

    1. Hi Kenneth! The $135.50 deducted from your Social Security check is to cover your Part B premium. That does not pay for supplemental insurance like a Medigap plan, that’s additional coverage. Both Medicare Advantage plans & Medicare Supplements offer SilverSneakers. You can use the plan finder tool linked in the content above to see which plans offer SilverSneakers in your area.

  21. I have medicare due to disability, but I am only 50. Would I still be able to get the gym membership?

    1. Hi CD! Hi Rhonda! As long as you have a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan that includes SilverSneakers, you can use those benefits even if you’re under 50.

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