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Medicare SilverSneakers®: One of Many Medicare Fitness Programs

Over the years, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has started allowing private Medicare plans to host more unique benefits such as transportation, meal planning, and Medicare fitness programs. Some private Medicare plans (like Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans) offer Medicare fitness programs through SilverSneakers®. SilverSneakers® hosts fitness programs for Medicare beneficiaries at local gyms and YMCAs.

Click the links below to learn about the SilverSneakers® Fitness Program

How does SilverSneakers® work?

SilverSneakers® is sort of like a gym membership included in your Medicare plan (if your plan includes it as a benefit – not all plans do). The program includes various kinds of fitness classes with a focus on aging and senior health, hosted at local YMCAs, wellness centers, and local gyms, like select Planet Fitness locations.

You will receive a SilverSneakers® card in the mail as well as a membership card (if applicable) to the facility that you choose. You can choose any facility in your area that hosts SilverSneakers® programs. If you move or if you are on vacation and want to use a different facility, you can ask to switch facilities. In some cases, like if you belong to the YMCA or a chain gym, you can use your existing membership at multiple locations. There are no restrictions on visits, so you can attend once a month or every day! You can swim a few laps in the pool and an hour on the elliptical, or you can join a group yoga class.

The program also has a new fitness app called SilverSneakers Go!® The app includes easy-to-follow exercise videos. You can adjust the exercises to your level and choose between four or 12-week programs for strength, walking, or meditation. You can even schedule your fitness activities so you don’t forget and allow the app to send you notifications when it’s time to go. Plus, you can use the app to find nearby classes, track your progress, and locate your membership card digitally. The app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

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Types of Medicare Fitness Programs (Silver & Fit® vs SilverSneakers®)

There are a handful of different companies that offer fitness benefits through Medicare plans, like SilverSneakers®. The fitness benefits we see often are SilverSneakers®, Silver & Fit®, and Renew Active®. SilverSneakers® and Silver & Fit® are very similar.

Silver and Fit vs Silver Sneakers

Find SilverSneakers® Locations Near You:

To find SilverSneakers® locations near you, click here or click on the buttons below. You can search by class type, amenity (like pools or group exercise classes), or even gender if you prefer a women-only gym. Some examples of locations that may support the program are hospital wellness centers, select Planet Fitness locations, and other local gyms.

Note: YMCAs are part of the SilverSneakers® network in many states. However, YMCAs are NOT part of the SilverSneakers® network in Tennessee as of January 1, 2020.Chattanooga, TNChicago, ILHouston, TXKnoxville, TNLexington, KYLouisville, KYMemphis, TNNashville, TNNew Orleans, LASan Antonio, TXTucson, AZ

Does Planet Fitness Accept SilverSneakers?®

We get this question a lot. Various Planet Fitness locations throughout the country participate in the SilverSneakers® program. It all depends on where you live and what is included in your SilverSneakers® membership. Planet Fitness is one of many large gym chains that participate in the program.

SilverSneakers® Eligibility

Anyone over the age of 65 who has a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan with the SilverSneakers® benefit included is eligible for the program. Whether or not your health plan includes the program will vary based on your location and the plan you selected.

Silver Sneakers Workout

Workouts include everything from yoga and flexibility training to general fitness and strength classes. Plus, most classes are held in group-settings, so you can make friends while you get in shape!

Even if you don’t like the idea of group fitness programs, you can get your SilverSneakers® workout through a simple gym membership. SilverSneakers® locations include a network of thousands of gyms and fitness organizations. With your membership, you have access to all participating locations. That means that you can take your pick: would you rather find a gym with a pool and get your exercise by swimming laps? Or, would you rather participate in yoga classes at the park?

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Classic

The Classic classes focus on muscle strength and ease of movement. This is arguably the most basic program and a good place for beginners. Classes are 45-60 minutes long.

Circuit

The Circuit classes are more upbeat than the classic program. For 45-60 minutes, you’ll work on upper-body strength using weights. You can use a chair for support. Circuit classes are acceptable for most fitness levels.

Cardiofit

For a higher intensity workout, sign up for Cardiofit! These classes involve heart-healthy aerobics and can strengthen your upper body and your core. This class may not be ideal for beginners.

Yoga

Yoga relaxes both the mind and body, reduces stress, and improves mental clarity.  Any member at any fitness level can participate in a yoga class.

Splash

If you’d rather get your exercise from the water, SilverSneakers Splash® is a class held in a shallow pool with the goal to increase movement capabilities. Since the classes happen in the shallow side of the pool, it is safe for non-swimmers.

Alternatively, WATERinMOTION is a high-energy “splash class” of sorts where you can perform cross-training in the water and burn calories without hurting your joints.

Stability

The stability class is great for those who need help with balance and strength around the ankles, knees, and hips. The exercises are mainly designed for fall prevention and can be adapted for any skill level.

Boom Programs

Within the Boom program series, there are three classes: Boom Muscle, Boom Mind, and Boom Move. Boom muscle classes use athletic exercises with a focus on the upper body, while Boom Mind classes are all about yoga and pilates. Boom Move is a way for you to exercise while having fun as you build your endurance while dancing.

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Types of Plans with SilverSneakers®

You can find the SilverSneakers® benefit inside a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies but approved by Medicare. That means that they cover everything that Medicare covers, but can also add additional benefits (like fitness programs). 

On occasion, you may also find fitness programs within a Medigap, or Medicare Supplement plan. Medigap plans are also offered by private insurance companies but most of the time, they do not add coverage in the same way that Medicare Advantage plans do. In most cases, the extra coverage that Medigap plans provide relates more to coverage for your deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. However, on occasion, you may find a Medigap plan that includes a gym membership.

Even if your plan does not include this program, it may include another Medicare fitness program called Silver & Fit®.

How to Join the Program

The best way to take advantage of this program is through a Medicare Advantage plan that includes the SilverSneakers® benefit. The good news is that we have thousands and thousands of licensed agents who can guide you through the process of selecting a Medicare Advantage plan that includes the SilverSneakers® benefit.

You should know that Medicare Advantage plans have the ability to change their benefits every year, which is why it’s a good idea to have a licensed agent that you can turn to at least once a year to review your coverage and make sure that you’re getting everything you need. To set up an appointment, click here or call 833-438-3676.

Medicare Search Tool

SilverSneakers® FAQ

Send us a message if we haven’t answered your question yet!

Can I Get SilverSneakers® with Medigap?

While it may be possible that some Medigap plans include a fitness benefit, SilverSneakers® is usually a Medicare Advantage benefit, which is different from Medigap.

Click here to read more about Medicare Advantage.

I Have Silver & Fit®, is that the Same, or is it Something Different?

Silver & Fit® and SilverSneakers® are both Medicare fitness programs, but they are completely separate and are owned by two different organizations.

Click here to read more about Silver & Fit®.

I Have CHAMPVA, can I Have SilverSneakers®?

CHAMPVA and other veteran benefits can be fantastic tools, but they typically don’t include Medicare fitness programs.

I Have SilverSneakers® and Have Access to Three Gyms, But I have No Transportation. What Can I do?

Unfortunately, it does not look like SilverSneakers® offers transportation at this time. However, you do have options.

You can start by downloading the SilverSneakers® “GO” app, which includes exercises and activities that you can do from home.

You can also check with your Medicare Advantage plan to see if they offer transportation benefits, or find out if your city or county offers transportation that can get you to a gym.

For more information about Medicare transportation benefits, click here.

Does Regular Medicare Cover SilverSneakers®?

The Original Medicare program does not cover SilverSneakers®. You’ll have to enroll in a private plan that includes the program as a benefit.

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