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Fitness Benefits & Medicare: What to Know About Medicare Gym Memberships

Staying physically active is essential to maintaining our health and overall well-being as we age. Medicare, the federal health insurance program primarily designed for individuals age 65 and older, recognizes the importance of regular exercise in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In this article, we explore information about Medicare gym memberships, providing insights into popular fitness benefits and how to utilize fitness benefits that may be covered by your Medicare Advantage plan.

RELATED: Building the Best Home Gym for Seniors

Does Original Medicare cover Gym Memberships?

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) typically covers hospital stays, doctor visits, and certain medical supplies but it does not cover gym memberships or fitness-related expenses.

Does Medicare Advantage cover Gym Memberships?

Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, is a Medicare-approved alternative to Original Medicare provided by private insurance companies. Unlike Original Medicare, some Medicare Advantage plans offer coverage for fitness benefits, including gym memberships.

Does Medicare Supplement cover Gym Memberships?

Medicare Supplement, or Medigap, plans are designed to help fill the gaps in coverage left by Original Medicare. However, like Original Medicare, Medigap plans do not typically cover gym memberships or fitness-related expenses. These plans mainly cover deductibles, copayments, and other out-of-pocket costs.

What fitness benefits are popular among Medicare-eligible individuals?

Original Medicare and Medigap plans may not cover gym memberships, but some fitness benefits are still available to Medicare-eligible individuals. Many Medicare Advantage plans offer wellness programs, including SilverSneakers, Renew Active, and Silver&Fit.

SilverSneakers is one of the best-known fitness programs for seniors. It provides access to participating gyms and fitness centers across the country, along with instructor-led classes designed for members.

Renew Active, offered by UnitedHealthcare, is another popular fitness program available with select Medicare Advantage plans. Renew Active provides access to gym memberships, fitness classes, and other wellness activities.

Silver&Fit, provided by American Specialty Health, offers Medicare-eligible individuals access to a network of fitness centers, home fitness kits, and exercise classes.

How do I find a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes fitness benefits?

Medicare Advantage plans that offer fitness benefits can be found on the Medicare website or by contacting a licensed insurance agent. The Medicare website provides a tool called “Medicare Plan Finder,” which makes it easy to compare different Medicare Advantage plans available in your area that offer fitness benefits.

SmartMatch licensed insurance agents can provide personalized guidance and recommendations based on your specific needs and preferences. We help you navigate options and find a plan that meets your fitness requirements.

How do I use fitness benefits if they are covered by my Medicare Advantage plan?

Utilizing fitness benefits in a Medicare Advantage plan is relatively straightforward. Typically, the plan will provide you with a membership card or access information for participating fitness centers or programs.

To make best use of fitness benefits, follow these general steps:

  1. Locate participating fitness centers or programs: Ask your Medicare Advantage plan for a list of participating fitness centers or programs in your area. They may provide a directory or recommend an online search tool.
  2. Enroll or register: Enroll or register with your preferred fitness center or program. This may include providing your Medicare Advantage plan information and membership details.
  3. Try out the facilities and classes: Once you’re enrolled, enjoy the available amenities, classes, and services. This may include access to gym equipment, group fitness classes, swimming pools, walking tracks, or other wellness resources.
  4. Follow program guidelines: Some fitness programs may have specific guidelines or requirements to ensure you make the most of your membership. This may include attending a certain number of classes per month or tracking your progress toward fitness goals.
  5. Stay up-to-date with changes: It’s important to stay informed about any changes to your Medicare Advantage plan’s fitness benefits. This includes checking for new participating fitness centers or programs, updates to class schedules, or changes to membership requirements.

TIP: Each Medicare Advantage plan may have slightly different procedures and requirements for accessing fitness benefits. It’s always best to review your plan’s documents or reach out to their customer service staff for specific instructions and guidance.

Key Takeaway

While Original Medicare does not cover gym memberships or fitness-related expenses, Medicare Advantage plans often provide fitness benefits. Programs like SilverSneakers, Renew Active, and Silver&Fit offer Medicare-eligible individuals access to gym memberships, fitness classes, and wellness activities.

SmartMatch Insurance Agency can help you evaluate plans that offer gym memberships and other fitness benefits. To get started, call a SmartMatch licensed insurance agent at 1-888-411-7647 | TTY:711 or fill out our contact form online.

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