As we age, it becomes increasingly important to maintain an active lifestyle to stay healthy and strong. The CDC recommends that seniors do the following:
- Moderate-Intensity activity for at least 150 minutes per week, such as brisk walking
- Exercises that strengthen muscles at least two days per week, and
- Exercises to improve balance about three times per week
The benefits of regular exercise cannot be overstated. Cardio activities will help you build your stamina, keep your weight healthy, and increase your mobility. Strength training can help prevent osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Balance and flexibility exercises will help you prevent injuries and falls.
Together, these add up to a healthy lifestyle, improved health, and more independence.
However, you might need help finding an appropriate fitness program, or the cost may be too high. What are your options? In this article, we will discuss one resource – SilverSneakers – and answer some frequently asked questions.
What is SilverSneakers?
The SilverSneakers fitness program is designed specifically for seniors and is an excellent resource for seniors looking to stay active, stay healthy, and connect with others.
It is offered at no additional cost to eligible Medicare plans and provides access to a variety of fitness classes, gym facilities, and on-demand workout videos. SilverSneakers provides a wide range of classes and activities, including strength training, yoga, and cardio, to help seniors stay active and healthy.
Does Original Medicare cover SilverSneakers?
Unfortunately, SilverSneakers is not covered by Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). However, many Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans may include a SilverSneakers membership. You must check with your insurance provider to see if SilverSneakers is included in your plan.
Who is Eligible for SilverSneakers?
SilverSneakers is available to Medicare-eligible individuals who are 65 years of age or older or those who have a disability and are under the age of 65. To be eligible, you must be enrolled in a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan that offers SilverSneakers as a benefit.
If you’re unsure if your plan includes SilverSneakers, you can visit the SilverSneakers website and enter your zip code to find out if participating plans are in your area. Or you can contact your insurance provider and ask if SilverSneakers is included in your plan.
How much does SilverSneakers cost?
If your plan includes SilverSneakers, there is no cost to you.
The Benefits of SilverSneakers
There are many benefits to participating in SilverSneakers. Here are just a few:
Improved Physical Health
Regular exercise has been shown to improve physical health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. SilverSneakers offers a variety of exercise classes designed specifically for seniors, including strength training, yoga, and cardio.
Many seniors experience social isolation, which can lead to depression and other health problems. SilverSneakers provides an opportunity to connect through group fitness classes and social events.
Maintaining physical health and mobility is essential for seniors who want to maintain their independence as they age. SilverSneakers can help seniors improve their strength, balance, and flexibility, making it easier to perform everyday tasks.
Access to Gym Facilities
SilverSneakers members have access to thousands of gyms and fitness centers nationwide, making it easy to find a convenient and comfortable workout location.
SilverSneakers offers a wide range of on-demand workouts you can access from anywhere with an internet connection. On-demand workouts are an excellent option for seniors who may not feel comfortable attending a gym or a live fitness class.
Which Plans Cover SilverSneakers?
Many Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans offer SilverSneakers as a benefit. Some plans may require an additional monthly premium, while others include it at no extra cost.
You can see if your plan is included here.
What if my plan doesn’t include a SilverSneakers membership?
If your Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan doesn’t cover SilverSneakers, you may still have other fitness-related benefits available to you. Your plan may offer other fitness programs, gym memberships, or discounts on purchasing fitness equipment. Check with your insurance provider to see what other fitness-related benefits are included in your plan.
Other community resources may be available to you that offer fitness classes or programs specifically for seniors. Your local senior center or community center may offer fitness classes or activities for a discount (or even free). You can also search online for senior-specific fitness programs or classes in your area.
Remember, staying active and healthy is essential for overall well-being, so it’s worth exploring different options to find a fitness program that works for you.
Of course, if you find that having a SilverSneakers membership is a priority and will help you manage your health, keep that in mind the next time you compare Medicare Advantage plans.
Finding the right plan for you with The Medicare Family
The Medicare Family can help you find the right Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan for your specific needs. Our team is knowledgeable about the different plans available in your area and can help you compare the benefits and costs of each plan. We can help you determine if a plan includes SilverSneakers or other fitness-related benefits that are important to you.
We understand that finding the right healthcare coverage can be overwhelming, so our mission is to simplify that process for you. We will listen to your needs and concerns and work with you to find a plan that meets your healthcare needs and budget.
To learn more about how The Medicare Family can help you find the right healthcare coverage, call us today.