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How Do I Get My SilverSneakers Card: Eligibility Requirements

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Seniors enjoying their SilverSneakers card benefits.

Back in my early days as an Occupational Therapist, I’d often hear my patients say, “You know, I’d exercise more if gyms had a seniors’ discount!

Fast forward to today, and guess what? There’s something even better. The SilverSneakers card! 

Ah, the magical gateway for seniors to shimmy into fitness centers and gyms without busting their wallets. Wondering how to snag one of these cards for yourself or a loved one?

​The short answer to how you get a SilverSneakers card:
To obtain a SilverSneakers card, you must first verify your eligibility, typically linked to certain Medicare plans. Once eligible, you can register online through the official SilverSneakers website to receive your card. This card grants access to various fitness locations and classes tailored for seniors, enhancing their physical well-being.

Why stick around? Because I’ll be sharing some insider tips and fun facts that can make your SilverSneakers journey a smooth dance. Let’s get those toes tapping!

What Is SilverSneakers?

SilverSneakers is a fitness program tailored for older adults, often covered by many medicare advantage plans. It’s the golden ticket for seniors to stay active and connected. This program grants access to a plethora of fitness locations and services, catering to a variety of fitness levels.

SilverSneakers originated with a clear mission: to empower older adults to stay engaged in regular physical activity.

The program has since grown, now offered as a fitness benefit in many medicare plans, granting members access to local gyms, recreation centers, and even virtual classes online. 

It’s more than just a gym membership; it’s an avenue for seniors to maintain muscle strength, enjoy social events, and explore a variety of fitness classes tailored for them.

Why Do Seniors Need The SilverSneakers Card?

Owning a SilverSneakers card opens the doors to participating locations nationwide. Think of it as the passport for older adults to a world of fitness. With it, they can access everything from strength training sessions to tai chi and yoga classes.

For many older adults, having a basic membership means access to daily activities that keep them moving. Whether it’s attending a circuit training class at their local gym or trying out a new exercise program at a community center, the SilverSneakers card ensures they’re covered. 

Plus, at some participating locations, just flashing the card at the front desk is a ticket to join group exercise classes, access workout videos, and even enjoy SilverSneakers on-demand services.

Who Is Eligible For SilverSneakers?

Eligibility is often linked with medicare beneficiaries. Many medicare advantage and medigap plans include the SilverSneakers fitness program as an additional benefit, at no additional cost.

To check eligibility:

  1. Age & Health Insurance: Generally, seniors who are enrolled in health insurance plans that offer SilverSneakers as a benefit are eligible. This often includes those with Medicare Advantage or a Medicare Supplement plan.
  2. Location: Depending on the zip code, some medicare plans may offer the SilverSneakers benefit. The SilverSneakers website provides a tool to check participating medicare advantage plans based on location.
  3. Contract Renewals: Some medicare contracts with fitness programs like SilverSneakers may be subject to contract renewal. It’s wise for seniors to check each year during enrollment.

How To Determine Your Eligibility

Before setting out to the nearest participating fitness center, it’s a good idea to confirm eligibility. Start by:

  • Checking with your health insurance or contacting your insurance agent.
  • Inputting your health plan id card details on the SilverSneakers website.
  • If you’re already a member of a Medicare health plan, often, your plan details will mention the SilverSneakers benefit.

Steps To Get Your SilverSneakers Card

Once you’ve confirmed eligibility, securing that card is straightforward:

  1. Online Registration: Creating a new account on the SilverSneakers website will often generate a SilverSneakers ID number. This is essentially your digital SilverSneakers membership card. For some, this may be sufficient, especially if they prefer virtual classes or SilverSneakers go video workouts.
  2. Physical Enrollment: For those looking to visit physical fitness locations, a physical card might be preferred. After online registration, seniors can either print a temporary card or request a permanent one mailed to them.
  3. Using the Digital Fitness App: SilverSneakers offers a fitness app that can be downloaded from platforms like Google Play. This app not only serves as a digital card but also offers an abundance of different activities, from tracking workouts to finding participating SilverSneakers locations.

Using Your SilverSneakers Card

With card in hand (or on phone), seniors can visit any participating SilverSneakers location. Whether it’s Planet Fitness or community classes tailored for senior fitness programs, the card is the gateway.

Additionally, for those with internet service, the SilverSneakers on-demand platform offers video workouts suitable for various fitness levels, ensuring older adults can maintain healthy exercise habits.

Tips For Making The Most Of Your SilverSneakers Membership

The SilverSneakers program offers more than just access to general activities. Here are some suggestions:

  • Explore Different Activities: The program offers an array of classes from Boom Muscle sessions to Flex classes. Switch it up to find the right activities tailored to your needs.
  • Engage in Community Classes: The program often collaborates with community centers offering everything from yoga class to strength training. This is a wonderful opportunity to socialize while staying fit.
  • Utilize Online Resources: Beyond physical activities, the program offers online video workouts and virtual classes for those unable to visit a gym.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get SilverSneakers if I have Original Medicare (Part A & Part B)?

Original Medicare (Part A & Part B) does not directly offer the SilverSneakers program. However, many Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) include SilverSneakers as a benefit. If you’re interested in SilverSneakers, consider enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes this fitness program as a benefit or checking with any supplemental insurance you may have.

What if my insurance doesn’t offer SilverSneakers?

If your insurance doesn’t provide SilverSneakers as a benefit, you can still access the program, but there might be an out-of-pocket cost. Some fitness locations may allow you to purchase a SilverSneakers membership directly. It’s also worthwhile to explore other fitness benefits or programs your insurance might offer or consider switching to an insurance plan that includes SilverSneakers during your next enrollment period.

Can I transfer my membership to a new gym?

Yes, you can transfer your SilverSneakers membership to a new gym as long as the new location is a participating SilverSneakers facility. Your SilverSneakers card grants you access to any participating fitness center, and you can visit different locations without needing to transfer or alter your membership. Simply present your SilverSneakers card at the front desk of the new gym to gain access.
seniors at the gym

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