What is the AARP Medicare Silver Sneakers Program?
How Seniors Can Get A Free Gym Membership
If you or a loved one qualify or receive Medicare and want to stay healthy for free then you might want to look into AARP’s Medicare Silver Sneakers Fitness program.
The Silver Sneakers Fitness Program is a value added benefit offered to Medicare recipients that are enrolled in one of AARP’s branded Medicare insurance programs. Other insurance providers offer the Silver Sneakers Fitness program however AARP’s branded program is one of the most popular. The popularity is fueled by the AARP brand marketing. Most everyone becomes acquainted with AARP well before they are retirement age. Some people have even received AARP’s marketing materials before their 50th birthday.
What is AARP?
AARP is nonprofit organization that was formed to advocate on the behalf of people 50 years of age and older. The organization claims to be nonpartisan on its website. AARP wields a lot of power in Washington DC influencing legislation on behalf of its constituencies.
The organization also has an affiliate business called AARP Services. It is a for profit business that offers its large membership base branded Medicare supplemental health insurance, as well as other products and services. They partner with private insurance companies, which benefit from the powerful AARP brand name to sell policies to their members as well as other retirees.
AARP receives compensation by referring their members to their partner companies for products and services. The partner companies pay them a royalty for their referral and use of the AARP brand. It is a very profitable arrangement for AARP. In recent years AARP Services have received royalties of more than $500,000,000.00 from their partner companies. Their earnings can be found in their Annual Report which is listed on their website.
What is the Silver Sneakers Fitness program that AARP offers?
The Silver Sneakers Fitness program is a value added no-cost program offered to AARP Medicare Supplement insurance members. The Silver Sneakers program encourages healthy and active living. Members get a basic health club membership which gives them access to over 9,000 participating health centers across the nation. Members can access the health clubs in their home state and even when they travel around the country. It’s an excellent program for snow birds that don’t want to maintain or pay for two gym memberships.
Members participate in classes specifically designed for seniors. The signature classes are taught by certified trainers. Classes to teach seniors how to managing diabetes, quit smoking and lose weight are quite successful. Besides the signature classes reserved for Silver Sneakers members, members also have free access to the club’s treadmills, weights, heated pools and additional fitness classes that are offered to general members.
Where is the AARP Silver Sneakers Fitness program available?
The program is not available in all states, although new states are added regularly.As of this writing it is currently offered to members in the following states;
- District of Columbia
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
If the program is not offered in your area contact Silver Sneakers directly by calling 1-888-423-4632. Seniors can also contact 1800-MEDICARE to learn about AARP’s Medicare program availability in your area.
Medicare beneficiaries that enroll into this program should understand that Silver Sneakers is not a guaranteed Medicare benefit.It is a value added benefit provided as a courtesy to AARP members enrolled in one of their branded insurance partnership programs.AARP can discontinue the Silver Sneakers Fitness Program at any time but seniors have options too.They can change their insurance policies every year during open enrollment.Before making any changes to their health plans, Medicare beneficiaries should contact their health insurance consultant or professional to discuss their health care needs.