A growing number of gyms and fitness centers like Pink Hill Wellness & Education Center are now offering Silver Sneakers fitness classes. Silver Sneakers is a completely free to use fitness program for Medicare beneficiaries. Seniors across the nation with a Silver Sneakers membership have unlimited access to over 14,000 gym locations where they can participate in healthy physical activity. If the gym accepts Silver Sneakers membership, you are able to exercise at their facility completely free. These are exclusive to Silver Sneakers members, so you won’t have to worry about showing up the twenty-three-year-old next to you. (We know your moves are better anyway!)

Does Medicare Cover Silver Sneakers?

Original Medicare (Parts A and B) does not include the Silver Sneakers fitness program. The only way you can receive a Silver Sneakers membership is if you apply and enroll in either a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Supplement plan that offers a Silver Sneakers membership along with the plan.

Medicare Advantage plans are private Medicare plans that pay instead of your Original Medicare. Part C Advantage plans are allowed by Medicare to include extra benefits, like dental, vision, hearing services and membership in Silver Sneakers or similar gym programs.

While most of the plans that include Silver Sneakers are Medicare Advantage plans, there are also a few Medicare Supplement plans with Silver Sneakers Medicare memberships included.

Whether or not your plan includes a Silver Sneakers membership depends on the insurance carrier you have your plan through and the specific plan in which you are enrolled. Be aware that if you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes Silver Sneakers, your plan’s benefits can change from year to year. You should review your Annual Notice of Change letter every fall to confirm that your plan will continue to offer the gym membership in the upcoming year.

What are you waiting for? Speak to your insurance provider to find out if you are eligible for Silver Sneakers or other comparable plans such as Healthways and Silver & Fit.

NOTE: Lenoir County Council On Aging provides free memberships for Lenoir County residents over the age of 60.