No matter your age, staying in shape is imperative for good health. Exercise helps us build good habits, improve our bodies, and gain strength. Creating healthy habits is even great for our mental health. But we know how difficult it can be to muster up the motivation to go to the gym. However, gym memberships are more accessible than ever for those with the right Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan.
Medicare Advantage and Medigap Plans Can Offer Gym Memberships
Going to the gym is a great way to stay in shape, but paying for a gym membership can be costly for those on fixed incomes. Thankfully, gym membership options are available through select Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement carriers.
These benefits come from private insurance companies, and while you can’t enroll in both a Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plan simultaneously, you can find coverage that offers a variety of wellness programs and gym memberships. This means not only enjoying supplemental coverage for your health care but also helping you cover some of the costs associated with going to the gym.
Keep in mind, if you have a Medicare Supplement plan, you may have access to a gym membership through your plan’s carrier, regardless of the plan letter you choose to enroll in. A gym membership is not included in any particular Medicare Supplement letter plan. This benefit is only available through the carrier.
Thus, if you wish to enroll in a Medigap plan and take advantage of a free or low-cost gym membership, you must choose a carrier offering the benefit to their clients. On the other hand, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, your benefit will be through the carrier, not the plan.
Each Medicare Advantage plan can opt in or out of providing a gym membership benefit. So, you’ll need to check with your carrier to see if your specific plan provides access to a gym membership.
Taking advantage of such perks is a great way to gain more than a new regimen, but also opens the door to improving your social life. Gyms throughout the country hold a variety of classes, groups, and events, providing a welcoming environment and camaraderie among communities.
However, not everyone may have the means to get to and from the gym daily. Additionally, not everyone wants to. But there are still options available.
Virtual Workouts Continue to Gain Popularity
COVID-19 subjected the world to several burdens. Although, if there is a silver lining in fitness following the year 2020, it’s the rising trend of online virtual workouts.
Whether you’re social distancing, the weather is bad, or you just don’t feel like leaving the house, virtual workouts offer a modern solution to an age-old problem. The pandemic may have skyrocketed the popularity of virtual fitness as more and more people found alternative solutions for staying in shape. Additionally, its popularity hasn’t gone away since the release of vaccines and the relaxing of social distancing measures.
This is evidenced by recent trends within the Medicare world, as more and more beneficiaries are turning to virtual solutions for their fitness. Now, additional options are coming to supplemental Medicare plans through the ever-popular SilverSneakers and Apple Fitness+ programs. All you need to get started is the right health insurance coverage.
SilverSneakers and Apple Fitness+
Two of the biggest names in fitness are coming together, and if you’re eligible for Medicare, you’re in luck. Beginning this year, Apple users with qualifying Medicare supplement plans that include SilverSneakers will now have access to Apple Fitness+ at no cost. The ever-popular fitness app and fan-favorite fitness program are teaming up to bring more wellness to users than ever before.
This collaboration will provide SilverSneakers members with access to the full library of Fitness+, which contains everything from workouts to meditations and more. There are also audio walking experiences guided by various notable people, including Dolly Parton, Dr. Jane Goodall, and Sugar Ray Leonard. Additionally, the audio running program, Time to Run, is also available.
Original Medicare Is Not Enough
If you currently have Original Medicare, which consists of Medicare Part A and Part B, you may be wondering how you can enjoy the gym with your benefits. Unfortunately, while useful in other areas of your health, these coverages do not include a gym membership benefit.
To receive this coverage while on Medicare, you must enroll in either a Medicare Advantage plan offering the benefit or a Medigap plan through a carrier with a wellness program. For the record, such benefits are often scarce, even with Medicare Supplement plans. Therefore, your best bet for a gym membership is likely a Medicare Advantage plan, but both are available to anyone eligible for Original Medicare benefits.
A Medicare Advantage plan doesn’t replace Original Medicare but instead becomes the primary source of your benefits when receiving health care. Because private insurance carriers offer them, you can find a variety of perks, such as fitness programs and gym memberships.
Understanding which plan is right for you can be challenging at times because not only does everyone have different health care needs, but so many options are available. Speaking to a licensed Medicare agent is a great way to receive free help with no obligation to you. An agent can help you discover the best coverage for your health care needs and budget.
Staying active has never been easier than it is today, and thanks to Medicare benefits, it can also be affordable. The combination of affordability and accessibility to preventive care, such as fitness programs, is why many are enrolling in supplemental coverage.
Jagger Esch is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ and the founder, president, and CEO of Elite Insurance Partners and MedicareFAQ.com. Since the inception of his first company in 2012, he has been dedicated to helping those eligible for Medicare by providing them with resources to educate themselves on all their Medicare options. He is featured in many publications and regularly writes expert columns regarding Medicare. You can reach him at email@example.com.