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What is SilverSneakers and How Do You Join?

What is SilverSneakers and How Do You Join?

Physical activity is essential to healthy aging. It’s important to stay active no matter if you’re 35, 65, or older. Regular exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your body as you age. That’s why more and more older adults are taking advantage of exercise programs such as SilverSneakers.

The health benefits of exercising are endless and significant. Physical activity not only helps increase your life span but also lowers your risk for a host of serious conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, depression, and dementia.

Studies have found that physically active older adults spend less on health care than their inactive peers. This is mainly due to needing fewer doctor visits and medications.

Regardless of the benefits, though, it can be hard to get up and move. Plus, going to the gym or participating in workout classes can be intimidating for many. Fortunately, that’s where SilverSneakers steps in and helps motivate and ease any inhibitions. No more excuses!

A Program That Keeps You Active

SilverSneakers is a health and fitness program designed for adults 65 and older. It is included in many Medicare plans, and it makes staying fit fun, social, and affordable.

SilverSneakers provides participants access to more than 15,000 fitness locations nationwide and 70 plus classes. Fitness locations include local gyms and community centers. And exercise classes include a wide range of fitness activities, including cardio and strength training, water aerobics, yoga, and Tai chi.

All fitness classes are taught by instructors who are trained in senior fitness. They know what you need and how to help you achieve it.

In addition to in-person classes, online and at-home fitness options are also available. As a member, you have access to full-length LIVE classes via Zoom as well as hundreds of prerecorded on-demand video workouts. These at-home options have proven beneficial during Covid-19. Fitness levels for each class vary, so you will always be able to find one that fits your level of experience.

Who is Eligible for SilverSneakers?

Most Medicare Advantage plans cover SilverSneakers memberships, along with some Medicare supplement plans. However, because the program is not affiliated with or administered by Medicare, it is not available through Original Medicare.

If you currently have Medicare and want to see if your plan includes SilverSneakers, you can check your eligibility instantly on the program’s website.

If you are eligible to join, you simply create an account on the website and download your digital membership card. You can then use your membership card to enroll at one of the participating gyms or access any other program benefits. It’s that easy!

Older woman exercising at home to an online fitness class.

Extra Membership Benefits

Along with access to numerous fitness centers and in-person and online classes, SilverSneakers offers discounts on other healthy living products and preventive services.

As a SilverSneakers member, you can receive discounts from third-party providers, including local nutritionists, physical therapists, and more. Plus, you can receive up to 40% off products, such as essential oils and fitness equipment.

To make all your membership benefits easily accessible, you can download a fitness app right on your phone. The app gives you access to fitness programs on the go, the ability to track and schedule activities, find participating locations, and get your member ID anytime, anywhere. You can even find nutrition and fitness tips.

SilverSneakers creates a social environment for many seniors, giving them a chance to meet new people who also want to improve their health.

How Much is SilverSneakers?

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan or private insurance that includes SilverSneakers, you are eligible to get all the perks of membership for free! At no additional cost, you can participate in any and all membership benefits.

Unfortunately, at this time, you cannot buy a SilverSneakers membership as an individual.

Get Better Health and Save with SilverSneakers

In addition to saving money on a gym membership and other local services and products, you could potentially save money on health insurance and out-of-pocket costs. A two-year study followed SilverSneakers participants and found that they had lower overall healthcare costs.

It was also found that seniors who frequently participated in the SilverSneakers program had a higher quality of life with improved physical and emotional health.

With all the benefits, including improved health, there’s no reason not to take advantage of SilverSneakers if it is available to you. And if it isn’t covered under your health insurance – good news. Open enrollment is just around the corner.

Consider making SilverSneakers one of your criteria for selecting a new Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan. It could just save you in the long run. Contact VIPcare to start exploring your Medicare options!