Staying physically active and movement can be a good game changer as you age. The CDC reports that just one hour a day, five days a week, moderate exercise can help prevent heart-related diseases, diabetes, and stroke. Working out can help build muscle strength, increase stability and balance, and improve flexibility which helps prevent dangerous falls.
There are a ton of fitness activities that can be useful as we get older. Based on your personal preferences and suggestions by your physician, you can try exploring some of these fitness options:
Resistance band training
If you prefer group activities, you can enquire from a fitness training class on the services they offer. Before embarking on any workout routine, always consult with your physician to assess any personal needs and determine any limitations due to your current health requirements.
So how can Medicare help?
First things first, many people are afraid of the costs of joining a fitness class or paying for a gym, especially if they are retired and living on a limited income. However, if you are eligible for Medicare due to your age or disability, your health insurance coverage can help to pay for fitness classes offered in your area.
Although original Medicare (Part A and B) does not help pay for membership in gyms and fitness centers, some Medicare Advantage plans may offer gym membership as part of their additional benefits. Also referred to as Medicare Part C, Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private health insurance companies. These plans must cover at least as much as the original Medicare is willing to guarantee concerning outpatient, inpatient, and preventive care services.
In this article, I’ve discussed the types of fitness programs covered by Medicare. Let’s walk together.
SilverSneakers is the most famous program covered under Medicare Advantage plans, with over 15,000 participating gyms and fitness centers across the United States. With so many locations, the high chances are that you will get a fitness center close to you. A few benefits of this plan include:
Access to special classes designed for the elderly
Opportunity to work with an instructor to keep track of your progress
Chance to participate in the SilverSneakers FLEX program, which covers classes including outdoor activities, line dancing, and walking.
If you prefer to be at home or your lifestyle does not allow you to be in gatherings, the SilverSneakers program will allow you to work out in your living room. There are videos and online components designed to help members stay connected and motivated to stay healthy. Before you choose your Medicare fitness coverage, consider the SilverSneakers plan and determine if it’s something you can include in your plan’s benefit.
Silver and Fit
Silver & Fit is a privately owned program that provides access to training equipment at gyms, organized fitness classes, and DVDs to help seniors achieve healthy aging. Some health insurance providers offer the program to eligible Medicare Supplement and Medicare Part C beneficiaries. Individuals whose health insurance plan permits this benefit can register online with Silver & Fit and choose between one of these two fitness benefits:
– Exercise components so you can exercise at the comfort of your privacy, or
– A low cost or a free gym membership to an active fitness center
Just like SilverSneakers, to enroll with Silver & Fit, you must be a beneficiary of Medicare Part C or Medicare Supplement. Keep in mind that to enroll in Medicare Part C, you must also be a member of the original Medicare.
Renew Active is a comprehensive health and wellness program designed to help Medicare beneficiaries reach fitness goals as they get older. The program is available with some UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans and includes a free membership to a participating fitness location and activities like online exercises to support brain health.
Through Renew Active, Medicare Part C beneficiaries can locate a fitness center near them through the company’s location tracker. Those who prefer to work out from home can access Fitbit Premium with hundreds of hundreds of training videos.
The acronym PHIT stands for Personal Health Insurance Training. Offered together with Aetna Fitness Program, Senior PHIT is the least famous of the other options. Since not many people use Senior PPHIT, that does not mean the fitness program is less helpful. Medicare Part C beneficiaries can register online to start enjoying Senior PHIT services. Its benefits include:
An online coach who is available 24/7 to offer any assistance
Opportunity to access hundreds of articles to help seniors keep Fit
Two tailored plans that will help you exercise correctly
How Do You Join
If your Medicare Part C or Medicare Supplement provides a fitness program, the plan should notify you on how you can access the benefit. If not, you can contact your provider and inquire how you can access the fitness benefit covered. Contact your insurer for more information on sites you should visit for sign-up instructions for home fitness programs.