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What Medicare insurance plans include SilverSneakers? Medicare beneficiaries may get free gym membership.

By Courtney Schmidt
Updated June 24, 2020

Key Takeaways:

  • SilverSneakers is a program for Medicare beneficiaries offering free access to thousands of gyms and exercise classes nationwide.

  • Many Medicare Advantage plans and some Medicare Supplement plans include SilverSneakers.

  • Insurance plans that offer SilverSneakers include Humana, Aetna, Avmed, Kaiser Permanente, Wellcare and United Healthcare.

Many Medicare beneficiaries enjoy SilverSneakers, which is a free fitness program that allows them access to gyms, weight training, group fitness classes, health education and fitness-related events.

Seniors who participate in SilverSneakers report that the program has a positive impact on their quality of life — not only by giving their physical health a boost but also by providing social and emotional benefits as well.

If you're ready to lace up your sneakers and get out there, we can help you find a Medicare plan that offers this benefit at no added cost to you.

Which Insurance Plans Cover SilverSneakers?

Below you will find some of the many insurance companies that offer SilverSneakers as a covered benefit.

Aetna

AARP

Anthem

AvMed

Baycare Plus

Bankers

Life

Blue of California

Clover

Emblem Health

Empire Health Blue Cross

Florida Blue Medicare

Humana

Kaiser Permanente

Physicians Healthplan

Priority Health

Simply Healthcare

United Healthcare

Wellcare Health Plans

These private insurance companies offer either a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Supplement plan that includes SilverSneakers. Keep in mind insurance plans vary based on where you live, and not every company will offer plans that include SilverSneakers. Each plan varies, so check to see if the plan you choose to enroll in offers the benefit.

To find out which plans available in your state include SilverSneakers, you can ask your insurance representative or visit the SilverSneakers website. You may also call SilverSneakers directly at 866-584-7389 or email at support@silversneakers.com.

Does Original Medicare Cover SilverSneakers?

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) does not provide the SilverSneakers program as a benefit.

However, if you are eligible for Medicare Parts A and B, you have the choice each year to forgo Original Medicare and choose a Medicare Advantage plan instead. Many Medicare Advantage plans offer SilverSneakers at no extra cost to their members.

Some Medicare Supplement plans (also known as Medigap) offer SilverSneakers as well. Although supplement plans generally do not offer additional benefits on top of what Medicare Part A and Part B cover, SilverSneakers is a benefit that some Medigap plans are able to add to your existing Medicare coverage.

Are You Eligible for SilverSneakers?

If you are eligible for Medicare and are over the age of 65, you are eligible for the SilverSneakers program. However, you'll need to enroll in either a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Supplement plan that includes SilverSneakers.

How Does the SilverSneakers Program Work?

Once enrolled in a qualifying health plan, you can join the SilverSneakers program by visiting the SilverSneakers website.

You'll then have access to more than 17,000 fitness centers nationwide and over 70 different types of exercise classes. Participating locations provide exercise activities specially designed for seniors. You'll also get a variety of discounts on health-related services that may range from physical therapy and massage to health products and essential oils.

If a gym just isn't your thing, SilverSneakers also offers a program called FLEX where they offer fitness classes and health-related activities in locations such as parks, community centers or churches. You can get out, get moving, and meet other like-minded seniors without going to a fitness center.

The cost of SilverSneakers is included in your Medicare plan, so there is no extra charge for you, no matter how many fitness centers or exercise classes you attend.

In addition, you'll have access to an on-demand video library of fitness classes designed specifically for seniors that you can use anytime anywhere.

How Do I Choose a Plan That Includes SilverSneakers?

Keep in mind you should always choose your health plan based on the medical benefits it offers, not simply because the plan includes SilverSneakers. While a free gym membership is a valuable benefit, medical costs can add up quickly and can become a much larger burden if you don't have the right insurance plan for your medical needs.

When comparing Medicare plans, consider the following four factors:

Coverage

Consider prescription coverage, vision, dental, hearing aids or other amenities you may need.

Costs

Consider monthly premiums, deductibles, copays, coinsurance and annual out-of-pocket limits.

Networks

Determine whether your current or preferred providers are included in the local network of the plan you choose.

Quality

Medicare Star Ratings can help you identify plans that offer the highest quality care and which plans' members report greatest satisfaction with their plan.

Once you've identified a few health plans that meet your medical and budgetary requirements based on the above criteria, you can determine which of those plans offer the added benefit of the SilverSneakers program.

Staying physically active is important for maintaining your health as you age, and SilverSneakers is a great way to get moving. After all, it's fun, free and convenient. That's a win for everyone.

Courtney Schmidt is a medical communications professional and clinical pharmacist with pediatric and adult hospital experience.