Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

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dm200
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Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by dm200 »

We recently became aware that our Medicare plan includes free membership/services through "Silver & Fit" using commercial gyms/fitness centers. We will doe research and call the various participating places for details - but it seems that we could use multiple places at not charge. As we begin to check this out, any information and suggestions welcome. Being "free" seems almost too good to be true - so maybe there is (or might be) a "catch" to watch for. It seems that this is a very common feature offered in a lot of Medicare plans.

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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by Mapmaker »

I have an Aetna Medicare PPO and the only “catch” I found with our free Silver and Fit is that I can only choose one gym, in my case, Gold’s. It’s a very nice perk. No fees at all. As long as you don’t sign up for the specialized classes or the fitness trainers, you can come and go as you please and use any of the equipment.
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by blgaarder »

You may find that your choices are for one gym/chain at a time, maybe by year.

Silver sneakers is another type of program.
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dm200
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by dm200 »

blgaarder wrote: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:28 pm You may find that your choices are for one gym/chain at a time, maybe by year.

Silver sneakers is another type of program.
Thanks. I am going to check it out. Sounds like I can use any participating place at any time. The closes ones (there are about 4 or 5 within 3 miles) are Golds gyms.
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by kaneohe »

AARP/UHC is ending its program at Silver Sneakers in CA (not sure about other states)at the end of 2018. You can provide feedback at aarpadvantages.com ......click on Contact Us at the bottom of page and a survey will appear. A free form place to provide feedback will pop up after the first question.
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by dm200 »

I normally am aware of each and every (however trivial) potential benefit and service of our Medicare plan. BUT - I must have missed this one. Even if you have the same plan for years, it pays to read everything again. Glad I did it. My wife had not caught this either. When we (or the employer or the government or taxpayers) pay so much for medical care and insurance, makes a LOT of sense to get the full benefits.
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by quantAndHold »

Wife has had both Silver Sneakers, and Silver and Fit (at different times). They’re very similar. Basically, it’s really a free gym membership at the participating gyms.

The basic difference between the two is that Silver Sneakers has deals with a few more gyms, and allows memberships at more than one gym at a time. Silver and Fit only allows you to be a member of one gym at a time. There was also an issue of her getting kicked out and having to rejoin the gym in January, but that was a minor issue.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by dodecahedron »

quantAndHold wrote: Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:37 pm Wife has had both Silver Sneakers, and Silver and Fit (at different times). They’re very similar. Basically, it’s really a free gym membership at the participating gyms.

The basic difference between the two is that Silver Sneakers has deals with a few more gyms, and allows memberships at more than one gym at a time. Silver and Fit only allows you to be a member of one gym at a time. There was also an issue of her getting kicked out and having to rejoin the gym in January, but that was a minor issue.
Intriguing--never heard of ¨Silver & Fit¨ before encountering this thread. Advantage plans around here tend to offer Silver Sneakers.

It seems like the flexibility to use multiple clubs is a huge advantage--I am fortunate to have several places (a YWCA, a YMCA, a JCC, and a couple of local health club options that look attractive for different reasons) all within a ten minute drive of my home. I could do yoga at one place on Mondays, Aquafitness class at another place on Tuesdays, use the weight machines at another place on Wednesdays, take a spin class at another place on Thursdays, Zumba at another place on Fridays, rinse and repeat...) Glad to have Silver Sneakers here (as of today! Turning 65 this month, so my Medicare Advantage PPO started today.)
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by dm200 »

I intend to stop by in person to 1 or 2 of the gyms that participate and check them out in person.

Thanks to all for the feedback - just wanted to be prepared as best I can.
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by dm200 »

dodecahedron wrote: Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:53 pm
quantAndHold wrote: Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:37 pm Wife has had both Silver Sneakers, and Silver and Fit (at different times). They’re very similar. Basically, it’s really a free gym membership at the participating gyms.
The basic difference between the two is that Silver Sneakers has deals with a few more gyms, and allows memberships at more than one gym at a time. Silver and Fit only allows you to be a member of one gym at a time. There was also an issue of her getting kicked out and having to rejoin the gym in January, but that was a minor issue.
Intriguing--never heard of ¨Silver & Fit¨ before encountering this thread. Advantage plans around here tend to offer Silver Sneakers.
It seems like the flexibility to use multiple clubs is a huge advantage--I am fortunate to have several places (a YWCA, a YMCA, a JCC, and a couple of local health club options that look attractive for different reasons) all within a ten minute drive of my home. I could do yoga at one place on Mondays, Aquafitness class at another place on Tuesdays, use the weight machines at another place on Wednesdays, take a spin class at another place on Thursdays, Zumba at another place on Fridays, rinse and repeat...) Glad to have Silver Sneakers here (as of today! Turning 65 this month, so my Medicare Advantage PPO started today.)
Thanks for the feedback. We have very nice (and only $90/year for wife AND I) community gyms. However, they are closed for holidays and are not open the extended hours of most commercial gyms. There is a Gold's gym nearby that open most days at 5 am and closes at 11 pm. From the feedback here, it doesn't sound like we would get hassled by the gyms to "upgrade" or "sell" more expensive features/options.

What puzzles me about these programs with Medicare plans is how the costs are dealt with. Sure seems like this would be costly, but maybe not?
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by JMacDonald »

I received an open enrollment letter about my medical choices for the coming year. That letter mentions Silver&Fit through Kaiser Senior Advantage. I think this is a new program for Kaiser as I have never heard of it before. I called Kaiser and Silver&Fit, neither had any information about me being eligible for the program. I am guessing that this becomes available at the beginning of the new year. I am going to call again in December about the program.
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dm200
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by dm200 »

JMacDonald wrote: Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:49 am I received an open enrollment letter about my medical choices for the coming year. That letter mentions Silver&Fit through Kaiser Senior Advantage. I think this is a new program for Kaiser as I have never heard of it before. I called Kaiser and Silver&Fit, neither had any information about me being eligible for the program. I am guessing that this becomes available at the beginning of the new year. I am going to call again in December about the program.
Same here - Kaiser Medicare plan in Washington DC area (suburban Virginia). I thought (must have made a mistake) this was something in our 2018 plan - but when I received the new 2019 book from Kaiser - the book says it is new beginning January 1, 2019. I will also wait until January 1 to check things out. "Free" is hard to beat!
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by quantAndHold »

dodecahedron wrote: Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:53 pm
quantAndHold wrote: Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:37 pm Wife has had both Silver Sneakers, and Silver and Fit (at different times). They’re very similar. Basically, it’s really a free gym membership at the participating gyms.

The basic difference between the two is that Silver Sneakers has deals with a few more gyms, and allows memberships at more than one gym at a time. Silver and Fit only allows you to be a member of one gym at a time. There was also an issue of her getting kicked out and having to rejoin the gym in January, but that was a minor issue.
Intriguing--never heard of ¨Silver & Fit¨ before encountering this thread. Advantage plans around here tend to offer Silver Sneakers.

It seems like the flexibility to use multiple clubs is a huge advantage--I am fortunate to have several places (a YWCA, a YMCA, a JCC, and a couple of local health club options that look attractive for different reasons) all within a ten minute drive of my home. I could do yoga at one place on Mondays, Aquafitness class at another place on Tuesdays, use the weight machines at another place on Wednesdays, take a spin class at another place on Thursdays, Zumba at another place on Fridays, rinse and repeat...) Glad to have Silver Sneakers here (as of today! Turning 65 this month, so my Medicare Advantage PPO started today.)
Indeed, we much preferred when she had Silver Sneakers. The gym choice was better, and she belonged to multiple gyms, for the same reason as you.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
quantAndHold
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by quantAndHold »

dm200 wrote: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:15 am

What puzzles me about these programs with Medicare plans is how the costs are dealt with. Sure seems like this would be costly, but maybe not?
I suspect S&F buys memberships in bulk, and drives a very hard bargain. The only clubs you can join are very cheap to start with. I’m guessing this will cost Kaiser $5-10/month for each member that actually uses the membership.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by dm200 »

quantAndHold wrote: Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:07 pm
dm200 wrote: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:15 am
What puzzles me about these programs with Medicare plans is how the costs are dealt with. Sure seems like this would be costly, but maybe not?
I suspect S&F buys memberships in bulk, and drives a very hard bargain. The only clubs you can join are very cheap to start with. I’m guessing this will cost Kaiser $5-10/month for each member that actually uses the membership.
The participating clubs must calculate/estimate that it does not cost them much in paying members.
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by dodecahedron »

dm200 wrote: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:15 am What puzzles me about these programs with Medicare plans is how the costs are dealt with. Sure seems like this would be costly, but maybe not?
I am guessing that the free gym perks attracts a healthier mix of patients, on average. Also, these plans all spend a ton on marketing (advertising in newspapers, online, television, direct mail, etc.) and it is a way to get people to think about leaving a Medigap plan (which infrequently* offer such things) and switch to an Advantage plan.

Edited to correct previous error pointed out by kaneohe below.
Last edited by dodecahedron on Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by dm200 »

dodecahedron wrote: Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:00 pm
dm200 wrote: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:15 am What puzzles me about these programs with Medicare plans is how the costs are dealt with. Sure seems like this would be costly, but maybe not?
I am guessing that the free gym perks attracts a healthier mix of patients, on average. Also, these plans all spend a ton on marketing (advertising in newspapers, online, television, direct mail, etc.) and it is a way to get people to think about leaving a Medigap plan (which are not allowed to offer such things) and switch to an Advantage plan.
Could very well be. I also suppose the "theory" is that folks who start exercising will save the plan money by being healthier.

Yes - in this area Medicare Advantage plans are heavily promoted and advertised -- as are Supplemental (medigap) plans as well.
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by friar1610 »

Just to clarify - fitness programs such as those discussed above are only available with Advantage plans, right? No way to get them with Original Medicare + TRICARE for Life (supplement) as I understand it.
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by kaneohe »

dodecahedron wrote: Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:00 pm
dm200 wrote: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:15 am What puzzles me about these programs with Medicare plans is how the costs are dealt with. Sure seems like this would be costly, but maybe not?
I am guessing that the free gym perks attracts a healthier mix of patients, on average. Also, these plans all spend a ton on marketing (advertising in newspapers, online, television, direct mail, etc.) and it is a way to get people to think about leaving a Medigap plan (which are not allowed to offer such things) and switch to an Advantage plan.
Not sure why you said that (bolded)........AARP/UHC Medigap has had those for yrs. Unfortunately, in my state,
they have decided not to offer that next yr........it sounded like a choice they were making and not something dictated by some rule.
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by Madbull »

My mom (68) has the Silver Sneakers program with her Humana Medicare Advantage plan through her work retiree insurance. Luckily I found 2 locations near us that have an indoor pool, (a local Y, as well as a 24hr or Anytime Fitness, can’t recall which one).

Legit deal, free as long as you don’t sign up for ‘specialty’ classes, and she gets ‘points’ for each visit that accrue to be used on gift cards and such. As others mentioned, the idea is to promote a healthy lifestyle, thus reduced care.

I’m still debating which to take her to though. With her vision & balance issues from mild Alzheimer’s, I have to go with her so she can do water exercises. That means I need a membership for myself wherever I take her.

The Y seems to have the best selection of Silver Sneakers classes too, but they’re all during the day when I have to work. Ugh 😑
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by dodecahedron »

kaneohe wrote: Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:14 pm
dodecahedron wrote: Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:00 pm
dm200 wrote: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:15 am What puzzles me about these programs with Medicare plans is how the costs are dealt with. Sure seems like this would be costly, but maybe not?
I am guessing that the free gym perks attracts a healthier mix of patients, on average. Also, these plans all spend a ton on marketing (advertising in newspapers, online, television, direct mail, etc.) and it is a way to get people to think about leaving a Medigap plan (which are not allowed to offer such things) and switch to an Advantage plan.
Not sure why you said that (bolded)........AARP/UHC Medigap has had those for yrs. Unfortunately, in my state,
they have decided not to offer that next yr........it sounded like a choice they were making and not something dictated by some rule.
Apparently I was in error--I will correct my earlier entry. I was under the impression that all Medigap plans were totally standardized and had to offer exactly the same menu of benefits for any given plan letter. But it appears that a few Medigap plans in some places do offer Silver Sneakers. So apparently the comparison across Medigap plans is not as simple as it is generally made out to be.
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by dm200 »

Apparently I was in error--I will correct my earlier entry. I was under the impression that all Medigap plans were totally standardized and had to offer exactly the same menu of benefits for any given plan letter. But it appears that a few Medigap plans in some places do offer Silver Sneakers. So apparently the comparison across Medigap plans is not as simple as it is generally made out to be.
That link was an excellent and balanced description of the pros and cons of both MA plans and Medigap plans.
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by TravelforFun »

friar1610 wrote: Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:23 pm Just to clarify - fitness programs such as those discussed above are only available with Advantage plans, right? No way to get them with Original Medicare + TRICARE for Life (supplement) as I understand it.
This is correct! Silver Sneakers and Silver&Fit are not available for those who have Original Medicare with or without Medicare Supplements. They seem to be available for Medicare Advantage customers only. I have Original Medicare and Supplement Plan G and I can't sign up with either Silver Sneakers or Silver&Fit.

TravelforFun
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by dcare »

It appears to be insurer specific??

The Silver&Fit Exercise and Healthy Aging Program is for older adults of all fitness levels. You can enroll in the full program if you are a member in a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Medicare plan.

BCBS MN offers both types of plans.
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by kaneohe »

TravelforFun wrote: Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:14 pm
friar1610 wrote: Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:23 pm Just to clarify - fitness programs such as those discussed above are only available with Advantage plans, right? No way to get them with Original Medicare + TRICARE for Life (supplement) as I understand it.
This is correct! Silver Sneakers and Silver&Fit are not available for those who have Original Medicare with or without Medicare Supplements. They seem to be available for Medicare Advantage customers only. I have Original Medicare and Supplement Plan G and I can't sign up with either Silver Sneakers or Silver&Fit.

TravelforFun
don't believe this is true..........I had Medigap AARP UHC Plan F for many yrs and had Silver Sneakers available at no cost. As noted in my previous post, they decided to end that and only offer 50% off subscriptions. Apparently we must have raised enough of a ruckus so at least
for PlanG in my state, they claim they are bringing back the free program in Jan 2020. It may be state dependent.
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by jkrm »

kaneohe wrote: Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:16 pm
TravelforFun wrote: Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:14 pm
friar1610 wrote: Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:23 pm Just to clarify - fitness programs such as those discussed above are only available with Advantage plans, right? No way to get them with Original Medicare + TRICARE for Life (supplement) as I understand it.
This is correct! Silver Sneakers and Silver&Fit are not available for those who have Original Medicare with or without Medicare Supplements. They seem to be available for Medicare Advantage customers only. I have Original Medicare and Supplement Plan G and I can't sign up with either Silver Sneakers or Silver&Fit.

TravelforFun
don't believe this is true..........I had Medigap AARP UHC Plan F for many yrs and had Silver Sneakers available at no cost. As noted in my previous post, they decided to end that and only offer 50% off subscriptions. Apparently we must have raised enough of a ruckus so at least
for PlanG in my state, they claim they are bringing back the free program in Jan 2020. It may be state dependent.
I am nearing 65 and have gotten mailings from several Medigap providers. At least two of them, including AARP, offer Silver Sneakers. I don't know if it's state dependent - I live in Virginia.
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by TravelforFun »

kaneohe wrote: Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:16 pm
TravelforFun wrote: Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:14 pm
friar1610 wrote: Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:23 pm Just to clarify - fitness programs such as those discussed above are only available with Advantage plans, right? No way to get them with Original Medicare + TRICARE for Life (supplement) as I understand it.
This is correct! Silver Sneakers and Silver&Fit are not available for those who have Original Medicare with or without Medicare Supplements. They seem to be available for Medicare Advantage customers only. I have Original Medicare and Supplement Plan G and I can't sign up with either Silver Sneakers or Silver&Fit.

TravelforFun
don't believe this is true..........I had Medigap AARP UHC Plan F for many yrs and had Silver Sneakers available at no cost. As noted in my previous post, they decided to end that and only offer 50% off subscriptions. Apparently we must have raised enough of a ruckus so at least
for PlanG in my state, they claim they are bringing back the free program in Jan 2020. It may be state dependent.
I looked at Silver Sneakers' website this morning and it states it serves Medicare Advantage folks only. I could misread it.

TravelforFun
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by kaneohe »

TravelforFun wrote: Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:54 pm .......................................................................
I looked at Silver Sneakers' website this morning and it states it serves Medicare Advantage folks only. I could misread it.

TravelforFun
could you provide the link?

This one says otherwise
https://www.medicareplanfinder.com/blog ... -programs/
click the no thanks to get rid of the junk

"Are Silver Sneakers and Silver and Fit The Same?
SilverSneakers and Silver and Fit are both Medicare fitness programs, but they are not the same. They are two separate companies offering similar benefits.

Both companies offer group fitness classes and exercise opportunities, and both companies partner with Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans to provide their benefit."

note this does not say they partner w/ all health plans.
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by douginct »

I have silver sneakers through my Medicare Supplement plan (not Medicare Advantage). It’s great. Several choices near me and I am currently a member at two clubs. They each have different advantages.
Note - never heard of Silver & Fit until I read this thread.
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by Summit111 »

Silver Sneakers for my wife and I.....Through our Medicare Advantage plan. We were paying for a local YMCA membership, but changed to Silver Sneakers once we were on Medicare. Saves us $85/Month...

It’s really great to see members in their 70s, 80’s, and some 90’s in the gym working out and keeping social connections. They use it as a social club while getting and remaining fit....

And they’re an inspiration to us youngsters in our 60’s👍🏃🤣

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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by TravelforFun »

kaneohe wrote: Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:30 pm
TravelforFun wrote: Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:54 pm .......................................................................
I looked at Silver Sneakers' website this morning and it states it serves Medicare Advantage folks only. I could misread it.

TravelforFun
could you provide the link?

This one says otherwise
https://www.medicareplanfinder.com/blog ... -programs/
click the no thanks to get rid of the junk

"Are Silver Sneakers and Silver and Fit The Same?
SilverSneakers and Silver and Fit are both Medicare fitness programs, but they are not the same. They are two separate companies offering similar benefits.

Both companies offer group fitness classes and exercise opportunities, and both companies partner with Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans to provide their benefit."

note this does not say they partner w/ all health plans.
This is the link to SilverSneakers website. It says in part, 'SilverSneakers is a fitness program for seniors that’s included with many Medicare Advantage plans.'

It does not mention Medicare Supplement plan.

TravelforFun
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by kaneohe »

TravelforFun wrote: Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:49 pm
kaneohe wrote: Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:30 pm
TravelforFun wrote: Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:54 pm .......................................................................
I looked at Silver Sneakers' website this morning and it states it serves Medicare Advantage folks only. I could misread it.

TravelforFun
could you provide the link?

...........................................................................
This is the link to SilverSneakers website. It says in part, 'SilverSneakers is a fitness program for seniors that’s included with many Medicare Advantage plans.'

It does not mention Medicare Supplement plan.

TravelforFun
I guess you'd have to be a lawyer.......or an English teacher :happy .............but I would disagree with your conclusion.......
The quote simply doesn't mention Medigap plans..........it does not say that it serves Advantage plans only.
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by douginct »

Once again, I have Silver Sneakers. I have a Medicare Supplement plan (plan F). I do not have Medicare Advantage. So regardless of how the info on the Medicare site is worded or interpreted, it is available at no additional cost with at least one Medicare Supplement provider.
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Re: Any (medicare plans) experience with Silver & Fit?

Post by Stinky »

My MA plan has Silver Sneakers.

Prior to this thread, I was using it for only one gym, because that's all that I thought I could sign up for. Now that I've read this thread, I'm going to sign up at another gym or two. Thanks Bogleheads!

BTW, we're in the process of signing up DW for traditional Medcare. In looking at Med Supp plans, there are a several MS plans offered by Humana that are called "Healthy and Fit". The Plan F "Healthy and Fit" option, which includes a minimal dental and vision benefit plus Silver Sneakers, costs about $50 per month more than the same Plan F (but not Healthy and Fit).
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