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Medicare Wellness and SilverSneakers Programs


SilverSneakers is a program that helps keep seniors active and fit. You may have access to gym benefits now, and not know it.

The SilverSneakers program consists of gym memberships, group fitness classes, and access to well-trained instructors and reputable fitness centers. Many plans offer fitness benefits to their members.

Do you want access to a local gym or on-demand workouts? Are you Medicare-eligible? Below we will discuss the many possibilities, including cost, plans, and companies.

Does Medicare Cover Gym Memberships?

Medicare doesn’t cover the costs of fitness programs and gym memberships, although some advantage plan includes a gym membership.

Advantage plans can offer extra benefits that aren’t available through Medicare. People that sign up for an Advantage plan must pay the Part B premium and any plan costs.

Supplement plans are Medigap policies, and they don’t include coverage for gym memberships.

Private companies offer different plan options. Beneficiaries should compare plan rates in their area.

What is SilverSneakers?

SilverSneakers is a fitness program for beneficiaries. The program promotes optimal health and can help create bonds within the community.

Group fitness classes go hand in hand with SilverSneakers and offer training classes from instructors. The program is nationwide and available through more than 16,000 fitness centers.

Further, you have access to on-demand workout videos and classes. You can download the SilverSneakers GO app to get a digital membership card as well as workouts on the go.

The program aims to help seniors find a healthy, supportive community, online and in-person. Over 85% of members say the program is improving their quality of Life.

Some plans include this benefit at no extra charge, and some policies require an additional payment for gym benefits.

Who is Eligible for SilverSneakers?

If you’re a beneficiary under 65, you may qualify for Medicare. There is NO age requirement!

The 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.

But, a plan must be available in your area. Some areas have a few options. While the program is helpful, it’s not suitable for everyone.

For example, those in Charleston, South Carolina might have more options than those in more rural areas.

If the company you want doesn’t offer the program, call one us at the number above to find a solution.

Part D Plans with SilverSneakers

Prescription drug plans don’t provide gym benefits. But, Advantage plans that offer Part D and may cover the fitness program.

Does TRICARE for Life Cover SilverSneakers?

TRICARE For Life doesn’t provide SilverSneakers coverage. But, enrolling in an Advantage plan could provide you with extra benefits.

If there is an Advantage plan with fitness benefits in your area, enrolling will give you access. You must review your benefits before joining.

Choosing an Advantage plan could limit you to a network of doctors smaller than the TRICARE network.

Veterans Benefits and SilverSneakers

Veterans Affairs may offer the program in specific locations, but it’s best to check with your local VA office to obtain an up-to-date list of local gyms that offer classes.

You can use the Advantage plan to cover dental, vision, and fitness. Or, find a supplement that has an option to add Active and Fit benefits.

Silver Sneakers vs. Active and Fit Direct Program

When it comes to fitness programs, beneficiaries have plenty of options. SilverSneakers and Active & Fit Direct are both fitness programs that accommodate seniors.

The SilverSneakers program allows beneficiaries to have free access to gyms nationwide.

Members may have access to full use of gym equipment and benefits, including weights, cardio machines, saunas, pools, and hot tubs.

SilverSneakers offers fitness classes such as yoga, cardio-fit, circuit training, and water aerobics.

The Active and Fit program allows members to choose from over 9,000 facilities across the nation.

The program offers an online directory map and locator for fitness facilities. Also, you can switch fitness centers to make sure you find the right fit.

The Active&Fit Direct Program also offers online wellness tracking, which comes from a variety of wearable fitness devices. However, the program is only for individual or employer group members.

Active&Fit Direct continues to expand its growing network to meet the client’s needs. This year there was an addition over 1200 facilities, including large chains, independent and local gyms.

Members can search the online directory for some of the nation’s finest fitness centers in their area.

Silver and Fit vs. SilverSneakers

Silver and Fit and SilverSneakers are similar in the fact that they’re both fitness programs through Medicare, but they’re not the same plan. These are different companies that provide comparable benefits.

Both companies offer fitness opportunities and group fitness classes. The programs are attainable with Supplement and Advantage plans.

Check location listings in your area to make sure that a program IS near you. Those without a local gym can choose Silver and Fit, which provides a home fitness kit.

What Medicare Supplement companies offer the Active and Fit Direct Program?

The American Specialty Health Incorporated’s (ASH) new fitness program has millions of members. The Active and Fit Direct Program has been the market a couple of years, and it’s become the country’s most notable commercial fitness program.

Further, many companies offer programs like Active&Fit. Aetna members may have access to these programs, although supplement insurance may vary.

Learn if your Supplement company offers the Active&Fit Direct Program by contacting your agent.

Which Medicare Advantage Plans Have SilverSneakers?

While some companies are more notorious for offering fitness benefits, our agents can usually find solutions to any preference.

Many Advantage plans provide gym benefits to their members, although not every plan or service area offers this benefit.

Some of the major carriers that provide SilverSneakers are:

  • Aetna
  • BCBS
  • Humana
  • Cigna

Our agents can help you to identify coverage and find affordable gym options.

Aetna Senior Gym Membership Options

Many Aetna plans offer the SilverSneakers fitness program. Connect with your Aetna policy to determine if your coverage includes these favored fitness benefits.

You don’t need your doctor to sign off before you enroll; but, discussing a new program with your doctor is always the recommendation.

Humana Gym Benefits

Most Humana plans offer SilverSneakers coverage at no further cost. Humana is a company all about health and wellness; they believe exercise is for everyone.

However, it’s a good idea to check with your plan to make sure your coverage does include it.

Cigna SilverSneakers

Many of Cigna‘s Advantage plans may provide access to SilverSneakers. Some areas are offering Silver and Fit.

Each service area, plan type, and contract varies. Be sure to contact your policy to ensure your policy covers the fitness classes.

Mutual of Omaha Senior Fitness Benefits

In October, Mutual of Omaha began a wellness initiative with the Tivity Health’s Prime Fitness network of over 10,000 workout locations. With the help of a mobile app, customers have access to many resources.

Further, the wellness program includes complementary and alternative medicine services like chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy, and more. The program has a discount network with over 20,000 doctors.

FAQs

Can I Join SilverSneakers without insurance?
Unfortunately, you can’t 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.
How much does SilverSneakers cost?
SilverSneakers comes at no cost to you most of the time. If there is a premium, you must pay the monthly fee, and it’s an extra charge above the Part B premium.
What is the annual fee for silver & fit?
The annual fee for silver fit is $50 for the facility program. The home fitness program is $10.
How old do you have to be to join SilverSneakers?
To enroll in the SilverSneakers program, you must have Medicare; those under 65 with disabilities may be eligible.
What health insurance pays for a gym membership
There are many Medicare Advantage plans that cover a gym membership. Sometimes it does cost a small fee. Also, some Medigap companies offer gym programs; it’s best to talk to one of our agents about the options in your area.
How much does SilverSneakers pay gyms?
The program pays fitness centers depending on the number of times a person visits their gym. However, the reimbursements are no more than $30 per gym member every month.
Does SilverSneakers pay for YMCA membership?
Many times, SilverSneakers does cover gym access at YMCA facilities. Although they may not include all YMCA gyms. There are various gyms in-network with SilverSneakers.

If you’d like to find a program near you, you can visit their website and search your zipcode or contact your Medicare Advantage or Supplement provider for more information.

Get a Medicare Gym Membership Today!

Medicare isn’t free, so having additional coverage is beneficial. Some plans include gym memberships.

Our agents can help you find a Medicare Supplement with access to a fitness program. You deserve the best rate on the coverage you want.

There are benefits to working out and living a healthy lifestyle.  Here at MedicareFAQ, we can help you choose the best plan for you.

Call our team today for a quote! Not ready to call? Fill out an online rate comparison form and get one step closer to the best policy for you!

Lindsay Malzone

Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ. She has been working in the Medicare industry since 2017. She is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare. You can also find her over on our Medicare Channel on YouTube as well as contributing to our Medicare Community on Facebook.

51 thoughts on “Medicare Wellness and SilverSneakers Programs

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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 Medigap, 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.

  17. 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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