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Can Medicare Advantage Cover Your Gym Membership?

Medicare Advantage plans are private health insurance plans that offer an alternative to traditional Medicare. These plans are by private insurance companies approved by Medicare and provide additional benefits beyond what Original Medicare covers. Some seniors may wonder if their Medicare Advantage plan covers gym memberships, as regular exercise is crucial for maintaining good health and managing chronic conditions. 

In this article, we will explain what Medicare Advantage is, provide a brief overview of the benefits these plans offer, and explore gym membership coverage in some plans. We will also discuss alternative fitness options available to seniors not eligible for gym membership coverage under their Medicare Advantage plan.

What is a gym membership?

A gym membership refers to subscription-based access to a fitness facility that provides various types of equipment, exercise classes, and programs designed to improve physical fitness and overall health. Gym memberships can range from basic facilities with limited equipment to more comprehensive fitness centers with advanced equipment, personal trainers, and specialized classes.

Seniors can benefit significantly from gym memberships as it provides a convenient and safe environment for exercise, helping them maintain or improve their physical fitness and overall health. Regular exercise can help seniors reduce their risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Furthermore, exercising in a group setting at the gym can help seniors socialize, reduce stress, and improve their mental health.

Additionally, gym memberships may offer seniors access to specialized equipment, personal trainers, and classes designed to address specific health concerns such as arthritis, balance issues, and mobility restrictions.

Does Medicare Advantage cover gym membership?

While Original Medicare does not cover gym memberships or fitness programs, some Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) offer gym membership coverage as part of their benefits package. Let’s see below for an overview of these plans.

Original Medicare coverage for gym membership

Original Medicare, which includes Part A and Part B, does not cover gym memberships or fitness programs. However, Part B may cover certain preventive services, such as a yearly wellness visit and counseling for obesity, which may include advice on physical activity.

Medicare Advantage covers gym membership

Some Medicare Advantage plans cover gym memberships and fitness programs as part of their extra benefits package. These plans may offer free or discounted access to participating gyms and fitness facilities or reimburse gym membership fees.

Types of Medicare Advantage plans cover gym membership

Not all Medicare Advantage plans cover gym memberships or fitness programs. However, most do include a fitness benefit as an added perk for enrolling with a particular carrier and Medicare Advantage plan. These plans may offer may also offer additional wellness programs, such as going to a yoga studio instead of a gym or offering nutrition counseling.

Limitations of Medicare Advantage gym membership coverage

Medicare Advantage plans may have a limit on the number of visits per month or the requirement to visit specific participating gyms or fitness centers. Some plans may also require a copayment or coinsurance for gym membership coverage.

Alternatives Medicare Advantage gym membership coverage

As seniors age, it becomes increasingly important to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. One way to do this is through regular exercise, which can improve physical and mental health. 

Fortunately, Medicare Advantage plans offer various fitness and wellness programs to help seniors achieve their health goals. 

SilverSneakers is a fitness program that is designed specifically for seniors. Many Medicare Advantage plan offers the program and provides access to gym memberships, fitness classes, and other wellness activities. The program is available at no extra cost to those who are eligible and enrolled in a participating Medicare Advantage plan. 

A SilverSneakers membership includes:

  • Online or in-person exercise classes were suitable for every fitness level.
  • Community classes are available in your area, both online and in-person.
  • With over 15,000 fitness and community locations nationwide.
  • Get full access to all the amenities at your fitness location, including cardio equipment, pools, hot tubs, saunas, tennis courts, walking tracks, and more.
  • Online access to resources with nutrition and fitness tips.

There are still options available for seniors not enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan that offers gym membership coverage or fitness benefits. Many gyms offer discounted rates for seniors; some may even offer free classes or access to fitness equipment. There are also various online fitness programs and apps that seniors can use to stay active and healthy from the comfort of their homes. While these options may require out-of-pocket expenses, they can still be affordable to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Final Thought

Medicare Advantage plans can offer seniors a range of fitness and wellness options, including gym membership coverage and other alternative programs. By carefully reviewing the benefits and limitations of various plans, seniors can find the coverage that best meets their health and fitness needs.

To help with this process, we encourage you to use our Medicare Plan Finder tool and check out our blogs about Medicare for more information and resources. With the right plan and resources, you can stay active and healthy well into your golden years.

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