How Do I Get a Free Gym Membership with Medicare? Staying active and fit becomes essential for maintaining our health and well-being as we age. Luckily, if you’re a senior with Medicare, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that your healthcare plan can also support your physical fitness goals.
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Understanding Medicare’s Fitness Benefits
Medicare, the federal health insurance program primarily for people 65 or older, offers more than just medical coverage. Some Medicare plans include fitness benefits, mainly through Advantage Plans. These plans are an alternative to Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) and are offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare.
Finding a Free Gym Membership
To begin your journey towards a healthier lifestyle with a free gym membership, follow these steps:
Research Medicare Advantage Plans: Check if your Advantage Plan includes a fitness program. Programs like ‘SilverSneakers’ are popular among older adults.
Local Gyms: Once you’ve identified the programs available through your plan, contact them to see if they participate.
Understand the Offerings: Some gyms might offer additional benefits like fitness classes or personalized training sessions.
Advantage Plans that Offer Free Gym Membership
Medicare Advantage plans may include additional benefits beyond Original Medicare, including free or discounted gym memberships. Here’s a brief overview of some well-known plans that usually offer this perk:
UnitedHealthcare: UnitedHealthcare offers the SilverSneakers program in many Medicare Advantage plans. SilverSneakers provides access to gyms, fitness classes, and wellness resources at no additional cost.
Humana: Humana’s Medicare plans often include the SilverSneakers benefit. Additionally, they may offer wellness programs, like Humana Go365, which reward members for healthy behaviors.
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield: Anthem’s plans often include SilverSneakers. In some areas, they might offer alternative fitness programs tailored to senior health needs.
Aetna: Aetna plans usually include a fitness benefit, such as the SilverSneakers program. They also offer additional wellness resources and discounts on health-related products.
Kaiser Permanente: Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare Advantage plans often include Silver&Fit, providing access to a network of fitness centers, exercise classes designed for older adults, and home fitness kits.
Cigna: Cigna’s Advantage plans often include fitness benefits through programs like Silver&Fit, offering gym memberships, home fitness options, and healthy aging coaching.
Eligibility for a gym membership through Medicare typically depends on the specific Medicare plan. Here’s a breakdown of the general eligibility criteria:
Enrollment, Benefits & Participation
Enrollment in Medicare: You must be enrolled in Medicare and typically be 65 years or older. Medicare eligibility also extends to individuals under 65 with specific disabilities or medical conditions.
Specific Medicare Plan Type: Most gym memberships are through Medicare Advantage plans (Part C), not Original Medicare (Part A and B). Private insurance companies offer these plans, often including additional benefits like fitness programs.
Medicare Advantage Plan Benefits: Not all Advantage plans offer gym memberships. Plans that offer this benefit often partner with fitness programs like SilverSneakers or Silver&Fit. You need to be enrolled in a project that includes one of these programs or similar fitness benefits.
Location and Gym Participation: The availability of gym memberships also depends on whether local gyms participate in the program offered by your Advantage plan. Not all gyms work with all Medicare fitness programs.
Additional Cost: Typically, these gym memberships come at no additional cost beyond your Medicare Advantage plan premiums. However, it’s essential to confirm this as plans can vary.
Guidance for Further Research
- Check Specific Plan Details: To ensure that an Advantage plan includes gym memberships and other wellness benefits, it’s crucial to examine the particular details of the plan thoroughly.
- Regional Variations: Be aware that the availability of specific programs might vary based on your location.
- Consult with a Medicare Advisor: For personalized advice and to explore all options available, consider consulting with a Medicare advisor or agent.
Free Financial Help was created Pamela Lipscomb, a licensed, and ordained minister with 30 years of experience in underserved communities, I have witnessed the profound impact that financial guidance and support can have on families. In this blog, I draw from my extensive experience in diverse programs that bring transformation in families with financial hardships. Our online platform stands as a ray of hope, offering financial assistance, like rent, utilities, food, and medical aid, empowering those in need towards a brighter, more secure future. Follow us on Facebook
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