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Silver Sneakers anyone?


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Yesterday we learned about the Silver Sneakers program which enables seniors on Medicate to have fitness club memberships for zero cost at centers all over the country. I searched the forum and there appears to have only been one post about this several years ago.

 

The program is covered under our Medicare Supplemental policy which happens to be Humana, but I gather most of the carriers have the same thing. You can go to this website to determine if you are eligible: https://www.silversneakers.com/benefits/do-i-have-it According to the website 20% of Medicare recipients have this benefit whether or not they know it.

 

If you are eligible, the website will show you fitness centers in your area that participate. You print out your eligibility info, take it to the center of your choice and sign up. Our membership is with the same local club we would have joined and paid $60/mo at if we didn't have this benefit.

 

What's great for RVers is that there are ~13,000 centers around the country that are in the program and nothing prevents you from signing up for more than one. So if you are spending the winter or summer in a particular area you can use the benefit at a local club while you are there.

 

I noticed that when this was previously posted the responding posts all wrote about alternative "low cost" memberships at particular fitness centers rather than paying attention to the fact that the Silver Sneakers benefit, if you have it, is TOTALLY free. In fact I was calling around looking for low-cost gym memberships for seniors when one of the places asked me, "do you have Silver Sneakers eligibility?" Now that I discovered we do have it, I think that "zero cost" is definitely better than "low cost." :P

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We use Silver Sneakers while hosting at Ill Beach State Park at the Conference Center. We use it for weekly yoga and lap swimming. It doesn't always work everywhere we are, but when it's available is is a valuable resource. We get it through United Healthcare Medicare Advantage program.

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We have the Silver Sneakers membership available with our UHC Advantage Plans. We tried it a few years ago, and it seemed the several fitness centers we tried to use either didn't honor it or were so geared for the younger market that we felt very out of place being septuagenarians. In some centers, we also didn't care for the multiple large screen TV's all blaring different programs at the same time. We've since developed our own exercise programs that work well for us everywhere we go, and can even be done inside our coach in poor weather.

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We have the Silver Sneakers membership available with our UHC Advantage Plans. We tried it a few years ago, and it seemed the several fitness centers we tried to use either didn't honor it or were so geared for the younger market that we felt very out of place being septuagenarians. In some centers, we also didn't care for the multiple large screen TV's all blaring different programs at the same time. We've since developed our own exercise programs that work well for us everywhere we go, and can even be done inside our coach in poor weather.

 

The website tells you which centers will honor the program in any particular area; there's no reason to have to go to a center to ask.

 

The particular center we signed up with has daily Silver Sneakers classes which my wife may attend. That way she will be with other women her own age.

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The website tells you which centers will honor the program in any particular area; there's no reason to have to go to a center to ask.

 

The particular center we signed up with has daily Silver Sneakers classes which my wife may attend. That way she will be with other women her own age.

 

Don't count on the list being up to date, Joel. That's how we chose the ones we tried. That was a few years ago though, so maybe they've improved on it.

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At Gold's Gym in Lakeland FL, they have a sizable "senior" program and honor Silver Sneakers. There are a lot of seniors taking advantage of it. I used to attend and was pre-medicare, so had to pay for my membership, but it was nice to take classes with other seniors in classes geared for us. I now have Silver Sneakers and have thought about checking it out at the Gold's Gym where I live now (Winter Haven). It really is a good deal, and I agree that a lot of seniors probably have it and don't know about it or what it is.

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According to the map Silver Sneakers passes are welcome at two places less than a mile from us. One is basically workout machines. The other is a full service fitness center that offers Silver Sneakers classes focusing on balance and strength exercises. I was once a member of that facility and welcomed to the classes but it never occurred to me to ask if the people coming for the classes were welcome to use the other facilities. Now I'm wondering about that.

 

Linda Sand

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According to the map Silver Sneakers passes are welcome at two places less than a mile from us. One is basically workout machines. The other is a full service fitness center that offers Silver Sneakers classes focusing on balance and strength exercises. I was once a member of that facility and welcomed to the classes but it never occurred to me to ask if the people coming for the classes were welcome to use the other facilities. Now I'm wondering about that.

 

Linda Sand

 

The place we just joined is a full service facility and I did ask that particular question. Participation in the classes is optional; we have full use of the facility just like any other member. We were told that they get paid by the insurance company for each visit we make to the club, regardless of what we are there to do.

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While the site says that BCBS Texas does participate, unfortunately only their "Advantage" plans do so and that doesn't include the plans F or G, which we have. It would if we had chosen Humana, but the premiums from them were about 30% higher priced and for that we can pay our own dues at our nearest gym, which is closest to us and isn't in their program anyway. Since it would at least double the distance for us and with fuel cost and wear on the car, I'm not sure that it would save us money making three trips per week. We pay $55/month for the two of us and the premium increase for us to change to Humanna would total just short of $70/month.

 

Be careful if you change carriers to get this "free" gym membership. ^_^

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Be careful if you change carriers to get this "free" gym membership. ^_^

 

I surely never suggested that anyone change carriers to get this benefit. But since ~20% of Medicare subscribers apparently already have it, the intent of the post was to alert people to the fact that they may already have it even if they don't know it.

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I surely never suggested that anyone change carriers to get this benefit. But since ~20% of Medicare subscribers apparently already have it, the intent of the post was to alert people to the fact that they may already have it even if they don't know it.

I agree that you did not do so, but the Silver Sneakers site does make that suggestion and that was the reason for my reply. :D

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Yesterday we learned about the Silver Sneakers program which enables seniors on Medicate to have fitness club memberships for zero cost at centers all over the country.

 

Thanks for this information!

 

We have Silver Sneakers cards that we got from our insurance company a couple of years ago, but no where...either on the information that came with the card, or on the website...does it say that the membership at a participating gym was free! Therefore, I haven't ever inquired at any of the participating gyms in my area because I wasn't interested in getting roped into an annual membership, especially considering we're only at home for about 7 months each year.

 

Now I'll give the nearest ones to our home a call!

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The place we just joined is a full service facility and I did ask that particular question. Participation in the classes is optional; we have full use of the facility just like any other member. We were told that they get paid by the insurance company for each visit we make to the club, regardless of what we are there to do.

 

The full service facility near me had a card reader on the wall. People going to class would swipe their card as they came in. I'm guessing that info went right to Humana's billing department. The guy at the reception desk was good about reminding people to swipe their cards. Those of us not members of Silver Sneakers had to sign in using our club membership. That was more than eight years ago and the facility has changed ownership since then but I suspect the procedure is still the same.

 

Linda Sand

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The full service facility near me had a card reader on the wall. People going to class would swipe their card as they came in. I'm guessing that info went right to Humana's billing department. The guy at the reception desk was good about reminding people to swipe their cards.

 

The club we joined uses a card scanning system for all members, since some pay on a "per visit" basis. They were very open about the fact that our insurance gets billed every time we swipe our cards. As long as it's included in the premium I already pay Humana, I honestly don't care since I agreed to pay that premium without even knowing of this benefit.

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The club we joined uses a card scanning system for all members, since some pay on a "per visit" basis. They were very open about the fact that our insurance gets billed every time we swipe our cards. As long as it's included in the premium I already pay Humana, I honestly don't care since I agreed to pay that premium without even knowing of this benefit.

I suspect that Humana actually only pays once each month, just as most members paying their own fees for on a membership do. While our gym does not participate in that program and neither does our supplement plan, we pay $55/month paid by direct billing to my credit card. I'd be happy to let my insurance start to pay that if they should add it to their benefits, but if they do we will still have to consider the economics of it unless our gym starts to accept it because the closest gym that does accept Silver Sneakers is another 8 miles from us. With us normally visiting 3 times per week, that means an extra 54 miles per week or about 235 miles per month.(16 mi/trip X 3 per week, X 4.33 weeks per month) That would be about 13 gallons of gasoline per month at $2/gallon means it does save money, ignoring any other costs. But my time is worth something also.

 

The point is that if the same gym you visit now takes the payment, it is clearly a great deal and if you don't go but would if free, then too it is a great deal. If you have to drive father, then it bears consideration but may not be quite so good.

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Just to add a little to this conversation....I've had a Bally's(now LA Fitness) membership since around 1987 so my dues each year were low. I also had a newer 24 hour Fitness membership that I got at a recurring great price. To make a long story short, both places now accept Silver Slipper's and both have provisions to freeze your regular membership so that when or if a establishment No longer participates in Silver Slipper's, you don't have to start over with higher prices. Just food for thought if you happen to have a membership already.

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