There are several health insurance benefits offered under Medicare plans. However, the individual benefits are limited to the type of plan you choose. Depending on your plan, you can enroll in fitness programs or secure gym memberships. It’s worth noting that the original Medicare plan doesn’t offer such benefits, you can only access them through the Medigap (Medicare Supplement) or the Medicare Advantage plans.
Below are insights on Medicare and fitness programs to help you understand your options.
Does Original Medicare Pay for Fitness Programs?
Original Medicare programs are offered as Part A and B, responsible for your hospitalization and outpatient services. These programs do not cover fitness programs or gym memberships but can be used in unique circumstances. Your Original Medicare can be used to pay for prescribed fitness treatment such as occupational therapy, nutritional therapy, and physical therapy.
Can You Access Fitness Programs through Medicare Advantage?
Medicare Advantage plans are mostly used to supplement the Original Medicare in cases where you have to pay out-of-pocket. However, this plan is offered by private insurers and is paired with Medicare Part A and Part B coverages. Under this plan, you can enjoy additional benefits such as eye and dental coverage. Some may be able to access fitness programs and register for gym memberships in approved facilities.
If you are registered under the Medicare Advantage, you can check to see if you can access fitness programs. Those who become eligible for Medicare or are signing up for Medicare Advantage can shop around for plans that offer gym membership and fitness program coverage.
When reviewing your Medicare Advantage coverage, note that fitness programs and gym memberships are offered under special programs aimed at senior citizens. They are often available in select fitness chains, community fitness centers, YMCAs, and local gyms.
A recent study shows that a significant percentage of Medicare Advantage holders have access to various fitness benefits, including Renew Active, Silver&Fit, and the famous SilverSneakers for senior citizens. Through SilverSneakers, holders can access more than 15,000 fitness facilities across the country and enjoy online stretch and yoga, dance, exercise, and meditation classes.
Members can also enjoy countrywide free gym membership through a specialized health clubs and fitness locations network.
Aside from fitness locations, some plans offer incentives for an active lifestyle, including free fitness trackers and discounts on exercise equipment and smartwatches.
Do Medicare Supplement Plans Cover Fitness Programs?
Medicare Supplement Plans, also referred to as Medigap, act as a support to your other health insurance covers, especially for out-of-pocket expenses. While they have several additional benefits, a standard Medigap plan doesn’t offer fitness programs or gym memberships. Members have to pay for extra low-cost packages to access benefits such as hearing, dental, vision, and fitness services.
Check with your insurance provider if your Medigap plan covers fitness programs and gym memberships. If so, then you may want to review the following offers, SilverSneakers, Silver&Fit, and Renew Active.
● SilverSneakers- this program is offered to senior citizens above 65 years. If you qualify for this program, you can access over 15,000 fitness facilities nationwide, including local gyms and personalized health clubs. Members can also enjoy online fitness classes and discounts on exercise equipment in select stores.
● Silver&Fit- this program offers comprehensive fitness coverage to millions of Medicare beneficiaries. Under Silver&Fit, members pay little to no charges for their gym membership. This plan offers access to more than 18,000 fitness centers and health clubs across the United States.
● Renew Active- this program is offered under the United Healthcare program associated with Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. Through Renew Active, qualified members can join a network of gyms and fitness centers, attend local health and wellness events, and join online mental health programs.
Renew Active program also helps members work on their brain health and physical fitness. It’s paired with the AARP’s digital Staying Sharp program, which uses an online fitness tracker. Through this program, members can attend social activities and classes on health and fitness.
How Do I Find a Fitness Location that Accepts Medicare Coverage?
The first step to finding a gym or fitness location that takes your Medicare coverage is to check if your plan covers fitness and wellness programs.
Fitness programs are offered under Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans, you only need to check the insurer’s website Clearmatch Medicare to review what is included in the plan. You can as well call the customer service line to check if you are eligible for any of the three fitness programs, Renew Active, SilverSneakers, and Silver&Fit.
Once you confirm your eligibility, each program has a search tool highlighting gyms and fitness locations accepted under the program. Key in your ZIP code to find suitable locations and other fitness opportunities near you.