A lot of our clients ask about a free Silver Sneakers gym membership or how do I get silver sneakers when shopping for supplemental insurance plans. It can save members a lot of money.
Some insurance companies offer this valuable benefit, but many do not. And availability will depend on where you live. It’s important to know what insurance plans include silver sneakers. We help our clients compare the Medicare insurance policies offering this popular program while crunching the numbers to make sure they aren’t overpaying for their coverage.
What Is Silver Sneakers & Why Should I Be Interested?
Silver Sneakers is a gym and fitness membership organization for those age 65 and older. It partners with several health insurance plans in order to offer unlimited gym access to over 13,000 locations across the country. This program also offers free fitness classes (both in and out of the gym) to accommodate all levels of experience.
More than 60 health plans nationwide have partnered with Silver Sneakers to include this valuable benefit as part of the overall insurance plan. Some of these include AARP Silver Sneakers or otherwise known as United Health Care Silver Sneakers.
Many Medicare supplement and Medicare Advantage insurance plans include this benefits at no extra cost. You can learn more about the locations and eligible insurance plans at their website.
Medicare Supplements With Silver Sneakers Membership
As a rule of thumb, more Medicare Advantage plans offer Silver Sneakers than do Medicare supplement policies. Membership availability will depend on the State where you live. It’s more common to see some of the larger insurance Medicare supplement providers offer this benefit while the smaller carriers usually will not.
Popular insurance companies like Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Humana, United Healthcare (AARP), and Medical Mutual of Ohio offer this program in many states. This benefit does not cost extra. It is included as part of your overall monthly premiums and cannot be removed or added one way or the other.
The Benefit of Medicare Supplemental Plans
Taking it a step further, Silver Sneakers is one of the very few benefits that Medicare supplement insurance companies are allowed to include at no additional cost. Unlike Medicare Advantage plans, supplemental policies cannot (by rule) include dental, vision or hearing benefits. Gym memberships are about the only free service available.
Medicare Advantage Plans Including Silver Sneakers
There are many, many Medicare Advantage plans affiliated with Silver Sneakers. Your options will depend on the state where you purchased the insurance. If you would like to see which insurance companies in your state include this plan, view the participating health plans here.
It’s not uncommon to see both large and small insurance companies include this popular benefit. Large carriers like Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Coventry, Gateway, Humana, United Healthcare and WellCare (to name a few participate) in most states.
Which is Better- Advantage or Supplements?
It’s important to know that Medicare Advantage plans are much different than Medicare supplement plans and you cannot have both at the same time. While Silver Sneakers is a nice perk, it may not be reason enough to choose one policy over the other. It’s a good idea to discuss the differences with and agent before enrolling.
Getting The Most Out Of Your Medicare Insurance
Too often Medicare insurance policies are purchased and stashed away. Whether you purchase a Supplement or Advantage plan, it’s important to be aware of any add-on benefits available with your coverage. Medicare Advantage plans, by rule, are allowed to offer much more in the way of ancillary benefits like dental, vision and hearing, but Medicare supplements can have some perks too.
How do I Get Silver Sneakers?
If you aren’t sure, just ask your agent after you have enrolled. Sometimes we cannot disclose all perks offered by an insurance company so as not to inadvertently steer client one way or the other.
Of course, Silver Sneakers is one of the biggest perks and some of our clients will choose a carrier based on this benefit alone. It’s important to crunch the numbers, however. If you use the gym a lot and a membership will save you $60 a month, then it might be an easy decision. But if you don’t use the gym often and a membership only costs you around $20, you might benefit from a lower cost Medicare plan that does not offer this benefit. We can help.
Here are a few FAQ’s that will help you:
What Insurance Plans Include Silver Sneakers?
The best way to find the participating plans is to check out the Silver Sneakers eligibility page and look there. The website will tell you exactly which health insurance plans cover it.
What’s the Silver Sneakers Minimum Age?
In order to qualify for this program, you have to be at least 65. Generally it is given in conjunction with the age for Medicare.
How Much Does Silver Sneakers Pay Gyms?
Your insurance plan will pay the gym when you use it. They will reimburse the club up to $30 a month per member. It benefits both you and the gym for you to use your plan.
How do I Get My Silver Sneakers Card?
You’ll receive a 16 digit code or card from your health insurance company. Once you have that, you can access any participating gym or center.
What Does it Include?
You get access to over 15,000 gyms across the nation. Not only can you get into the gym, you are able to take classes that promote a healthy lifestyle. Also, many gyms offer programs and social opportunities for their members. As a note that you don’t have to got a gym to take the classes. Many community centers and other places are available to you.
Can You Join the Gym if You Are Disabled?
It is always important to get cleared for physical exercise by your doctor, but those that are disabled or have a hard time moving will find benefit in the programs. The classes are lead by instructors that understand the physical needs of the older crowd. Many will bring in chairs or other supports to help those that are not able to move as well.
Contact Us For Quotes, Coverage & Enrollment
Hyers and Associates is an independent insurance agency. We specialize in Supplements, Advantage plans and Part D coverage. We help our clients compare and contrast all of the available options in their area. We can also tell you which plans offer Silver Sneakers and discuss whether or not this value-added benefit puts one plan on top of another. Contact us today!
Category: Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements