Silver Sneakers Medicare Guide: What Members Need to Know

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Silver Sneakers is one of the best extra benefits offered through Medicare Advantage programs across the United States. A recent survey showed nearly 70% of those on Medicare Advantage plans chose their plan based on the simple fact they would receive a Silver Sneakers membership.

An awareness of personal health and wellness is spreading more than ever due to the advancements in medicine and technology. More and more people are living with pre-existing health conditions and Silver Sneakers is playing a major role in that.

As with most things related to Medicare, there are a lot of details and Silver Sneakers is no different. This guide will help not only serve as an ongoing resource but also educate you on the following elements of the Medicare Silver Sneakers program. Be sure to click the button to bookmark this page for reference in the future!

  • What is Silver Sneakers?
  • How does Silver Sneakers work?
  • Who pays for Silver Sneakers
  • Silver Sneakers eligibility
  • How to get a new Silver Sneakers card
  • How to find Silver Sneakers locations near you
  • Health and wellness services and associated pre-existing conditions
  • List of Medicare plans that offer Silver Sneakers
  • Popular Silver Sneakers workout videos to watch at home
  • Benefits of being a Silver Sneakers member

What is Silver Sneakers?

Silver Sneakers is the most well-known senior fitness solution available through many Medicare Advantage programs in all 50 states. The goal of Silver Sneakers is to enhance the health and wellness of Medicare policy holders by offering fitness programs in more than 13,000 locations.

And, it’s free!

For example, if you are an AARP Medicare member, you have access to Silver Sneakers membership which will, for example, cover your costs for a local gym. Silver Sneakers in St. Louis has 116 locations, so you could choose the closest one to your home and start using their services for free through your health plan membership. The same goes for any other cities with Silver Sneakers gyms.

The reason Medicare Advantage companies offer free Silver Sneakers memberships is to help keep their claims costs down. The healthier they can keep you, the lower their overall costs. It’s to their advantage to pay for a gym membership to avoid paying for potentially much higher medical costs down the road.

It’s a win-win.

And, 68% of Silver Sneakers member say that Silver Sneakers membership is one of the primary reasons they don’t change their health plan. On top of that, 54% of members said they would change their health plan if they lost their Silver Sneakers benefits.

If you haven’t already, check your Medicare Advantage plan summary of benefits for Silver Sneakers eligibility.

How does Silver Sneakers work?

Silver Sneakers is offered free to you if you are a member in one of their more than 60 participating Medicare Advantage plans across the United States. If you are a member in a participating Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C) you are eligible for a free Silver Sneakers gym membership. It’s that easy.

How it works is simple, too.

  1. Enroll in a SilverSneakers participating Medicare plan
  2. Enter your information on the Silver Sneakers website.
  3. Get a copy of your Silver Sneakers card
  4. Google “Silver Sneakers near me”
  5. Take your card to the Silver Sneakers gym of your choice
  6. Start exercising, staying healthy and saving money!

Can anyone join SilverSneakers?

NO!

Silver Sneakers is available free for adults who meet Medicare eligibility requirements and enroll in Silver Sneaker partnered Medicare plans. This is one of the benefits of using a Medicare Advantage plan over a Medicare Supplement as most Medicare Supplements do not include Silver Sneakers.

Who pays for Silver Sneakers?

Medicare Advantage plans are private insurance companies approved by Medicare that must offer the same benefits as original Medicare. And, many of the Medicare Advantage plans offer additional benefits such as Silver Sneakers.
This means that the private insurance companies are picking up the bill for Silver Sneakers and passing that benefit to you as a member.

This is how you are able to get your free Silver Sneakers membership.

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Silver Sneakers Program Requirements

SilverSneakers eligibility is based around the Medicare Advantage plan you are currently enrolled. Below are the Silver Sneaker eligibility requirements:

  • 65 or older
  • Currently eligible for Medicare Parts A and B
  • Policyholder of a Medicare Silver Sneakers partner Medicare Advantage insurance provider

You are eligible to switch your Medicare Advantage plan every year during the annual election period (AEP is October 15th through December 7th). At that time your Silver Sneakers membership will seamlessly transfer with any Medicare Silver Sneakers partner you enroll with for your health benefits.

Silver Sneakers: Medicare Includes it?

This is a great question.

Medicare and Silver Sneakers go hand in hand as Silver Sneakers is the leading wellness provider for Medicare Advantage plans across the US. With nearly 10 Million members, there is a good chance your Medicare plan offers Silver Sneakers.

To check if your Medicare plan includes Silver Sneakers, you need to check your summary of benefits. Below is an example of what you will see in your summary of benefits booklet.

Silver Sneakers Medicare Summary of Benefits

As you can see, Silver Sneakers is listed as “included” which means you can begin your fitness plan through Silver Sneakers immediately. If it’s not listed in your Medicare plan’s summary of benefits, then you should check Silver Sneakers Eligibility to a find a participating plan.

Checking if your health plan includes Silver Sneakers is simple.

  1. Check your state by clicking here
  2. Review the Medicare plans that offer Silver Sneakers
  3. If your plan isn’t listed, contact a local independent agent to get information about enrolling in a health plan that offers Silver Sneakers.

Or, you could simply go to Google and type in Silver Sneakers followed by the city or state you live in. Below are some hypothetical examples and step-by-step instructions how you can find information on Medicare Advantage plans that offer Silver Sneakers near you.  Just insert the city or state of your choice.

Silver Sneakers Tucson (enter Silver Sneakers followed by your city)

Silver Sneakers Tucson

Silver Sneakers Ohio (enter Silver Sneakers followed by your state)

Silver Sneakers Ohio

Silver Sneakers CT (enter Silver Sneakers followed by your state abbreviation)

Silver Sneakers CT

Silver Sneakers LA Fitness (enter Silver Sneakers followed by your city and the word fitness)

Silver Sneakers LA Fitness Search

You could even try googling, “Silver Sneakers near me”.

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Common Medicare Advantage Plans that Offer SilverSneakers

Many of the top Medicare Advantage plans participate in the Silver Sneakers programs.

Below is a list of the most common, you’ll just need to confirm that each of the regional plans within these carriers also offers Silver Sneakers.

  • AARP Medicare Complete
  • Aetna
  • Alignment Health Plan
  • Amerigroup
  • Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  • Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  • Avmed Medicare Choice
  • Blue Shield of California
  • Caremore Health Plan
  • Coventry Health Care
  • Essence Healthcare
  • Florida Blue
  • Freedom Health
  • Health Advantra
  • Humana
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Medical Mutual
  • Medigold
  • Optimum Healthcare
  • Scan Health Plan
  • United Health Care
  • Wellcare
  • Many more.

Where can I go to use Silver Sneakers? What gyms or fitness centers accept Silver Sneakers?

With more than 13,000 Silver Sneakers gyms available, finding a Silver Sneakers location near you shouldn’t be difficult. More and more gyms are joining Silver Sneakers because they realize the importance of keeping Baby Boomers and older seniors healthy.

Here are some of the gyms that offer Silver Sneakers throughout the US:

  • YMCA Silver Sneakers
  • Gold’s Gym Silver Sneakers
  • Planet Fitness Silver Sneakers
  • Curves Silver Sneakers
  • Local Community Center Silver Sneakers
  • Platinum Fitness
  • Chuze Fitness
  • Anytime Fitness
  • Many More Silver Sneakers gyms are available

Silver Sneakers isn’t just available through local fitness centers, gyms, and clubs. Many large employers have Silver Sneaker reimbursement which allows you access to their fitness centers.

Here are some of the employers that offer Silver Sneakers memberships

• Monsanto
• Edward Jones
• Emerson

You can also find more information on Silver Sneakers or ask direct questions by following them on Facebook. Simply login to your Facebook account and search “Silver Sneakers” or go here and click follow.

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How Do I Get a Silver Sneakers Card?

As a Medicare Advantage plan member you will receive a membership card for your health benefits and a separate Silver Sneakers card.

**Tip – If you lose your Silver Sneakers card, you can show your current Medicare Advantage card at the gym, so don’t worry!

The system will recognize that you are a member with a participating Medicare Advantage plan and automatically issue you a 16-digit Silver Sneakers card number. Below is what the Silver Sneakers card form looks like.

How to get Silver Sneakers Card

Do you need to get a new Silver Sneakers card if you change your Medicare plan?

NO!

If you change your Medicare Advantage plan, your account will be transferred to the new health plan within Silver Sneakers. There is nothing you need to do other than keep exercising and enjoying your Silver Sneakers fitness benefits.

Here is an example Silver Sneakers card

Silver Sneakers Card

How can I find a Silver Sneakers Near Me?

Finding a Silver Sneakers gym near you is extremely simple using the following process.

Step 1: Go to the Silver Sneakers website and open its Location Search page

Search Silver Sneakers Locations

Step 2: Enter your state, city, ZIP code or full address (For example Ohio, Tucson, Seattle, or CT)

Silver Sneakers Seattle Locations

Step 3: Choose the Silver Sneakers location of your choice

Seattle Silver Sneakers Gym

What Type of Services Does Silver Sneakers Medicare Cover?

Once you’re a Silver Sneakers member you have access to all the benefits. That is the beauty of the program.

Below are some of the conditions / scenarios that Silver Sneakers uses exercise to help their members:

  • Bereavement
  • Loneliness
  • Loss of Independence
  • Depression
  • Arthritis
  • Back Pain
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Hip or Knee Injuries
  • Stroke Recovery
  • Joint replacements

It’s amazing how much exercise can help with any of the pre-existing conditions or scenarios listed above as well as many others. This is one of the key reasons why Silver Sneakers partnership with the Medicare Advantage community has been so successful. Without a wellness benefit, Medicare beneficiaries would be on their own to stay fit.

Sometimes it just takes getting out of the house to clear your mind. The team at each Silver Sneakers location is dedicated to helping you achieve your goals and keep you on a realistic track to health and wellness.

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Silver Sneakers Video: Great at Home Exercises

It’s not just about the exercises classes Silver Sneakers gyms offer. It’s about how they train you on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. While they offer programs like Silver Sneakers Yoga, Silver Sneakers Classic, Silver Sneakers Circuit, BOOM and many more, they offer an entire line of videos to help you learn the best way to exercise.

As a senior citizen it’s important to maintain your cardiovascular and joint health as you get older.

Below are some of the most popular Silver Sneakers videos you can watch from the comfort of your own home.

Silver Sneakers YOGA

Silver Sneakers Outdoor Total Body Workout

Silver Sneakers Hip Exercises: Bodyweight exercises to strengthen your hips

Silver Sneakers Quick Core Workout at Home

Best Exercises for Seniors

As a senior it’s important to stay active. Sure, it can get hard as you get older, but there are so many great ways you can get your exercise when you don’t have time for the gym. We went through the Silver Sneakers videos and library and compiled a list of the best exercises for seniors using a simple resistance band. You can literally do these Silver Sneakers exercises anywhere!

  • Squats
  • Leg Extensions
  • Lateral Band Walk
  • Bent-Over Row
  • Push-Ups
  • Bench Press
  • Shoulder Press
  • Standing Bicep Curls
  • Kneeling Crunch

These resistance band exercises seniors will build strength and aid in improving balance.  Many exercise videos for seniors include these types of movements and can easily be found on YouTube.

Conclusion

As you now know, Silver Sneakers is one of best benefits included with select Medicare Advantage plans.
As a premier health and wellness program, the free Silver Sneakers membership remains one of the driving factors people choose their Medicare health plan. Even when you switch your Medicare during open enrollment you Silver Sneakers membership doesn’t change as long as your new plan offers it.
Silver Sneakers members enjoy…

  • Free fitness memberships from Medicare Advantage
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower Cholesterol
  • New friendships
  • Better health
  • Longer life!

If you haven’t been using Silver Sneakers, contact a local Medicare Advantage plan today to see if you are eligible for your free gym membership with Silver Sneakers.

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