Staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential, especially as we age. Fortunately, there are fitness programs like SilverSneakers designed to help seniors stay fit and engaged. SilverSneakers provides access to various exercise classes, social events, and wellness resources, making it an invaluable asset for older adults.

Let’s explore what health plans cover SilverSneakers, how the program works, and the benefits it offers seniors, providing a comprehensive guide for those seeking to make the most of this fantastic opportunity.

What is SilverSneakers?

SilverSneakers is a popular fitness program tailored to older adults, available to those aged 65 and above and enrolled in certain Medicare plans. It is available through partnering fitness centers, gyms, and community facilities nationwide, making it accessible to a wide range of seniors. The program focuses on improving strength, balance, flexibility, and cardiovascular health, promoting overall wellness and quality of life for its participants.

Understanding Health Plans & Cover SilverSneakers

Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C, are private health insurance plans that offer the same benefits as Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) and often include additional perks. Some Medicare Advantage plans include SilverSneakers as an added benefit, providing policyholders with access to participating fitness facilities at no extra cost. It’s essential to review a plan’s specific benefits to ensure SilverSneakers coverage is available. 

Medicare Supplement Plans

Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, work alongside Original Medicare to cover out-of-pocket costs, such as copayments, deductibles, and coinsurance. While Medigap plans do not typically include fitness benefits like SilverSneakers, a few may participate in the SilverSneakers program.

Some insurance companies may also offer standalone fitness programs as an added incentive. For example, United Healthcare can provide Renew Active, another type of fitness program, with some Medicare plans. It’s best to inquire with individual insurance carriers about available fitness benefits.


Medicaid is a state and federally-funded program that provides health coverage for low-income individuals and families. However, SilverSneakers is solely for those enrolled in Medicare, so the Medicaid program does not include the SilverSneakers fitness program as part of its benefits.

It is possible for someone to qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid at the same time, known as “dual-eligible” beneficiaries. Seniors with both Medicare and Medicaid can still qualify for the SilverSneakers program if their Medicare plan is eligible. They can check with their specific Medicare plan to determine if SilverSneakers coverage is available to them.

Group Retiree Plans

Group or retiree plans also do not have SilverSneakers as a benefit as those are not qualifying Medicare plans. However, some employer-sponsored retiree health plans can offer additional benefits beyond Medicare coverage, including fitness programs other than SilverSneakers.

If you have a group retiree plan, contact the plan administrator or insurer to inquire about available fitness benefits and eligibility criteria.

Marketplace Coverage

Like Medicaid and group coverage, Marketplace insurance does not include the SilverSneakers program as a benefit. Some Marketplace insurance carriers offer other fitness programs, depending on the plan. You can verify with a specific carrier if you need clarification.

How SilverSneakers Works

Access to Participating Facilities

SilverSneakers participants gain access to a vast network of fitness centers, gyms, and community facilities across the country. Once enrolled, members receive a membership card that grants them entry to any participating location, offering the flexibility to choose the most convenient facility for their fitness needs.

Fitness Classes and Programs

SilverSneakers offers a diverse range of fitness classes tailored to various fitness levels and preferences, including online fitness classes for those wanting to stay at home. From low-impact exercises to strength training and yoga, seniors can find sessions that suit their interests and physical capabilities. These classes are led by certified instructors experienced in working with older adults, ensuring a safe and supportive environment.

Social Engagement

Beyond exercise classes, SilverSneakers fosters a sense of community among its participants. In-person and online classes and gatherings are organized to encourage social interaction and promote mental well-being. Engaging with like-minded individuals can help combat feelings of isolation and loneliness, improving overall mental health.

Online Resources

SilverSneakers provides online resources, including workout videos, articles on health and wellness, and nutrition tips. These resources enable members to maintain their fitness routine outside the gym and empower them with valuable information to support their overall well-being.

Benefits of SilverSneakers for Seniors

Improved Physical Health

Participating in regular exercise through SilverSneakers can improve seniors’ physical health. The program’s focus on strength, balance, and flexibility activities can help reduce the risk of falls, promote bone health, and increase overall mobility.

Enhanced Mental Well-Being

Physical activity is closely linked to mental well-being. Engaging in regular exercise releases endorphins, promoting a positive mood and reducing stress and anxiety. Additionally, the social aspect of SilverSneakers helps combat feelings of loneliness and depression.

Motivation and Accountability

SilverSneakers classes offer a supportive and motivating environment, encouraging seniors to stay consistent with their exercise routines. Having certified instructors and peers to exercise with can provide valuable accountability for sticking to fitness goals.


SilverSneakers is a remarkable fitness program designed specifically for older adults, promoting physical well-being, social engagement, and overall quality of life. Understanding the health plans that cover SilverSneakers is essential for older adults looking to take advantage of this beneficial program. 

The program can be a game-changer in maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle during the golden years. As seniors prioritize their health and well-being, embracing the opportunities offered by SilverSneakers can lead to a fulfilling and vibrant life ahead.