What is SilverSneakers?
You may have heard of SilverSneakers before, or maybe you have senior clients on Medicare who have asked about the program. SilverSneakers is a fitness program especially for seniors on Medicare. It promotes the physical, social and mental well being of millions of older Americans and is available nationwide. As a Silver Sneakers member, your clients have access to thousands of gyms giving them free access to weight machines, treadmills, ellipticals, pools, walking tracks, and group exercise classes. SilverSneakers also includes an invitation to sponsored health education seminars and other fitness-related events. CLICK HERE to find a participating gym in your client’s area.
A Brief History
The SilverSneakers program was created in 1992 by Mary Swanson after helping her father recover from a heart attack. His commitment to recovery and fitness inspired Mary. Envisioning a program to improve the health and well-being of seniors laid the foundation for the Silver Sneakers program. Mary amassed a network of gyms and fitness centers providing seniors over the age of 65 access to exercise and quality of life programs. Eventually, Medicare Supplement plans began offering this network as a benefit to their customers. Realizing that improving the health of their customers would ultimately lower health costs for everyone while greatly improving the quality of life for seniors. SilverSneakers grew into a nationwide network of more than 17,000 participating fitness and wellness centers (including many YMCAs) and serves more than 13 million eligible members.
Which Plans Include SilverSneakers?
To qualify for SilverSneakers your clients need to have a Medicare Supplement (also known as a Medigap plan) that includes Silver Sneakers. If they are new to Medicare or looking for Medicare Plans that include SilverSneakers, you can find participating health plans here.
SilverSneakers is not covered under Original Medicare (Part A, and Part B). However, Medicare Advantage (Part C) may provide the benefit. In fact, it is far more common to find this SilverSneakers included in Medicare Advantage plans than a Supplement plan.
How much does SilverSneakers cost?
The basic SilverSneakers program comes at no cost to qualifying individuals. Essentially, it is a program that the insurance company pays for and does not get reimbursed for, which explains why it isn’t offered everywhere. Your clients will get a basic membership at any participating gym. Facilities and amenities vary by location. Typically a Silver Sneakers membership gives you access to cardio equipment, weights, classes and amenities, such as pools and walking tracks. It does NOT include extras like smoothies, massages, or personal training. If your client chooses to arrange and pay for those on their own, they certainly can. CLICK HERE to find a participating gym in your clients’ area.
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