Sep 12, 2023

How to sign up for Medicare SilverSneakers

Manny Cominsky

Medicare’s SilverSneakers program, a fitness membership for adults 65 and older, is a popular choice for many seniors who are looking to prioritize their health and wellbeing through regular exercise. If you’re interested in learning more about the Medicare SilverSneakers program, read on to understand more about the process of signing up for Medicare SilverSneakers, including eligibility requirements, enrollment procedures, and the numerous benefits of the program.

Medicare SilverSneakers Overview

Before diving into how to sign up for Medicare SilverSneakers it's important to understand what SilverSneakers is and why it's important.

Why is exercise important for seniors?

As individuals age, maintaining an active lifestyle becomes increasingly important. Regular exercise offers a multitude of benefits for seniors, including improved cardiovascular health, increased strength and flexibility, enhanced balance and coordination, and a reduced risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Furthermore, exercise promotes mental well-being, reduces the risk of depression and anxiety, and fosters social connections, which are vital for seniors' overall quality of life.

The benefits of the SilverSneakers program

SilverSneakers is a fitness program specifically designed for adults aged 65 and older. It offers a range of exercise classes, access to fitness equipment, and social events. With a SilverSneakers membership, seniors gain entry to over 15,000 participating recreation centers, churches, senior communities, and other neighborhood locations across the United States. The program provides a variety of exercise classes, including exercise boot camps, circuit training, strength and balance, tai chi, yoga, water aerobics, and Zumba. Additionally, members have access to amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, and walking tracks, depending on the facility.

SilverSneaker Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the SilverSneakers program, seniors must meet specific requirements related to their Medicare coverage and age.

Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans

SilverSneakers is not covered by Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). However, if you have a Medicare Advantage (Part C) or Medigap plan, you may be eligible for a free SilverSneakers membership. Medicare Advantage plans, offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare, provide all the benefits of Original Medicare plus additional coverage, such as prescription drugs, dental, vision, and fitness programs like SilverSneakers. Medigap plans, also known as Medicare Supplement Insurance, help cover out-of-pocket costs associated with Original Medicare.

Age requirement

The SilverSneakers program is exclusively available to individuals aged 65 and older. If you meet this age criterion and have a qualifying Medicare Advantage or Medigap plan, you are eligible to enroll in SilverSneakers.

Checking Your Eligibility

Before enrolling in SilverSneakers, it's essential to determine whether your Medicare Advantage or Medigap plan includes the program.

Using the SilverSneakers website

To check your eligibility, visit the SilverSneakers website and navigate to their eligibility form. Fill in the required information, including your name, birthdate, location, and contact details. Once submitted, SilverSneakers will assess your eligibility based on the information provided.

If you meet the eligibility criteria, SilverSneakers will provide instructions on how to set up your profile and receive your SilverSneakers membership card.

Enrolling in SilverSneakers

Once you have confirmed your eligibility, it's time to enroll in the SilverSneakers program. The enrollment process involves joining a participating Medicare Advantage plan that offers SilverSneakers benefits and obtaining your SilverSneakers membership card.

Joining a participating Medicare Advantage plan

If your current Medicare Advantage plan does not include SilverSneakers, you may need to switch to a plan that does if you want access to SilverSneakers. Contact your insurance provider or a licensed Medicare agent to explore your options and find a plan that suits your needs. They can guide you through the enrollment process and provide details on the available SilverSneakers benefits.

Obtaining your SilverSneakers membership card

Once you have joined a Medicare Advantage plan that includes SilverSneakers, you will need to obtain your SilverSneakers membership card. Visit the SilverSneakers website and complete the necessary form to access your ID number and membership card. Provide the requested information, such as your name, birthdate, zip code, and email address. SilverSneakers will process your request and send you a physical card with your ID number. Remember to bring this card with you when visiting participating gyms and fitness centers.

Finding Participating Gyms and Fitness Centers

Using the SilverSneakers location tracker

SilverSneakers provides access to a vast network of gyms and fitness centers nationwide. To find a participating location near you, utilize the SilverSneakers location tracker available on their website. This will direct you to the location tracker page, where you can search for gyms in your area. Enter your city, zip code, or full address in the search bar, and the tracker will display a map with nearby gyms that accept the SilverSneakers program.

Exploring available amenities and classes

Click on the SilverSneakers logo on the map to access detailed information about each gym. The page will provide the gym's address, phone number, website, and available amenities. You can explore amenities such as free weights, cardiovascular equipment, resistance training machines, saunas, swimming pools, and more. Furthermore, the page will list the classes offered at the gym, including yoga, senior sports teams, outdoor activities, and specialized SilverSneakers classes.

Use SilverSneaker's online Location Finder to find local fitness centers in your area.

Make sure to bring your SilverSneakers membership card when visiting the gym to ensure a smooth check-in process.

Alternatives for Non-Eligible Individuals

While SilverSneakers is exclusively available to individuals with qualifying Medicare Advantage or Medigap plans, there are alternatives for those who do not have access to the program.

If your health insurance plan does not include SilverSneakers, consider reaching out to local recreational centers and gyms in your area to inquire about special pricing options for seniors. Many fitness facilities offer discounted rates or tailored programs for older adults, allowing you to prioritize your fitness goals while working within your budget.

Utilizing SilverSneakers Programs and Benefits

SilverSneakers offers a variety of exercise programs and benefits catered to seniors' specific needs and preferences.

Understanding the different exercise classes offered

As a SilverSneakers member, you gain access to a wide range of exercise classes designed to improve cardiovascular health, strength, flexibility, and balance. Some of the classes available include:

SilverSneakers Classic: A total-body workout to improve muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility.

SilverSneakers Yoga: A gentle form of exercise that focuses on improving flexibility, balance, and relaxation.

SilverSneakers Splash: A water-based exercise program that enhances cardiovascular fitness and joint mobility.

Boom Muscle: A strength-training class targeting major muscle groups using resistance equipment.

These classes are taught by certified instructors who specialize in senior fitness and are designed to accommodate various fitness levels.

Accessing online workout videos and resources

In addition to in-person classes, SilverSneakers offers a variety of online resources to support your fitness journey. Their website features a blog section with informative articles on health and wellness topics, including nutrition tips, exercise guidelines, and advice for staying active as you age.

Furthermore, SilverSneakers provides on-demand workout videos that you can follow along with from the comfort of your own home. This option is ideal for individuals who prefer exercising independently or have limited access to participating gyms.

To further enhance your fitness experience, consider downloading the SilverSneakers app. The app allows you to customize and log your workouts, access your membership card digitally, and find nearby gyms and classes.

Frequently Asked Questions about SilverSneakers

Does Original Medicare cover SilverSneakers?

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does not include coverage for SilverSneakers. However, some Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans offer this benefit.

What does the SilverSneakers program cost?

With a qualifying health insurance plan, SilverSneakers membership is typically free. However, additional services such as personal training or specialized classes may require additional fees.

Can I join SilverSneakers if my health insurance plan doesn't provide it?

SilverSneakers is exclusively available to individuals with qualifying health insurance plans. However, alternative fitness options may be available in your community for seniors without SilverSneakers coverage.

Insurance companies offering SilverSneakers

Many health insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage plans that include SilverSneakers membership. The availability of these plans and specific benefits may vary depending on your location and the type of plan you have. To explore your options, consult with a licensed insurance agent or contact your insurance provider directly.

Regular exercise is vital for seniors' overall health and well-being. The SilverSneakers program provides a valuable opportunity for individuals aged 65 and older to engage in fitness activities, access a network of participating gyms and fitness centers, and connect with like-minded individuals. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily navigate the process of signing up for Medicare SilverSneakers and embark on a journey towards improved health and vitality in your golden years.

Remember, staying active is not only beneficial for your physical health but also has a positive impact on your mental and emotional well-being. Embrace the SilverSneakers program and discover the joys of an active lifestyle as a senior.

To learn more about how Sunbound can help make senior care more affordable for you or your loved one, send us an email at or request more information on Sunbound. Sunbound is the best way to pay for senior living and senior care and is on a mission to make senior living affordable for everyone.

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