For U.S. citizens over age 65 or those under age 65 with certain disabilities, Medicare provides coverage for hospital stays, doctor's visits, preventive care and prescriptions, depending on which parts of the plan you choose. For some Medicare recipients, gym or fitness benefits may be available through Medicare Part C.
Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B is the section that covers doctor's visits and preventative care. Coverage under Part B includes payments for certain health screenings such as colonoscopies, as well as coverage for an annual physical. Even though Part B is partly dedicated to preventing illness, however, it does not offer payments or coverage for gym benefits.
Medicare Part C
Medicare Part C is also known as a Medicare Advantage Plan. Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by private insurance companies. Like a standard HMO or PPO, Medicare Advantage Plans may offer fringe benefits in addition to those offered by Medicare. For instance, Medicare Advantage Plans from both Aetna and Humana offer gym benefits to Medicare recipients.
Aetna Medicare Advantage
Health insurer Aetna offers a number of Medicare Advantage Plans, some of which cover gym benefits if a participating gym exists in your area. According to Aetna, the gym benefits can be used to cover a regular gym membership, yoga and Pilates classes, part of the cost of a registered dietitian, and, in some cases, the cost of certain nutrition and fitness periodicals. Aetna also offers a SeniorPHIT program that Medicare Advantage Plan users can use online to track health and fitness goals.
Humana Medicare Advantage
Humana, another insurer that offers Medicare Advantage Plans under Part C, offers gym benefits to Medicare recipients in cooperation with the Silver Sneakers program. Silver Sneakers focuses on fitness, nutrition and wellness for Medicare recipients and other participants 60 and older. Gym benefits through Silver Sneakers are offered at no cost above the standard premium.