Medicare is a U.S. federal government health insurance program. The government created it to help people 65 and older deal with their health issues. While the program does cover some specific younger people as well, its main customers are seniors. Below we will discuss fitness for seniors related to fitness programs covered under medicare.
People who are 65 years old and have a series of medical concerns, may not be that interested in keeping up with their fitness levels. However, studies show that physical activity is one of the most important things for an older adult. Physical exercise helps keep the joints and muscles healthy and strong. This ensures you can walk, run, have fun, and feel good regardless of age.
Of course, each person’s fitness ability depends on their overall health state, but there is an activity for everyone. You just have to be a bit more creative when building a training program for a senior. They may not be that motivated by maxing out on deadlifts.
Most older adults will want to use their Medicare benefits to reduce the cost of a gym subscription or personal trainer. That’s why, if you want to attract elder customers, it’s best to adapt your programming to what they can do. Then, cross that selection over with what’s Medicare covers.
Original Medicare doesn’t cover gym memberships or fitness programs. These activities may be covered by Advantage Plans or other Medicare health plans. However, just because someone has Medicare Part C (the Advantage Plans), it doesn’t mean that plan covers gym memberships and other activities.
If you’re not sure if an insurer covers physical activity expenses, you can check the Medicare star ratings. Additionally, you can advise your customer to call their insurance company and ask.
Until then, here are the top five fitness programs most beneficial to clients over 65 years old. We have also included details on fitness programs covered under medicare. This way, you can start building your programming out and have everything ready for new customers.
Aquatic Therapy & Swimming
Aquatic therapy is usually covered by Medicare Part B if it is a medical recommendation. If the patient suffers from neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, or other similar disorders, exercising in a (usually) heated pool can help reduce discomfort and increase strength.
Swimming is also an activity beneficial for people 65 and older because it’s easy on the joints. It also helps strengthen the bones. It’s also a fantastic exercise for muscle toning and a mental health booster.
However, what if none of these activities are recommended by a doctor? Then, you need to turn to Medicare Part C. Check with the insurer if fitness activities such as aquatic therapy are covered.
Yoga is a great practice for people who suffer from joint stiffness. It’s also great for back and neck pain, arthritis, or high blood pressure. Additionally, it’s amazing as a way to keep anxiety and depression under control.
Yet, it’s less likely that you’ll have a doctor prescribe their patient yoga for physical activity. This means people have to rely on Medicare Part C if they want to do yoga and improve their movement flexibility and mental health.
Even though it is an amazing cardio exercise, the chances that Medicare covers cycling are slim to none. But, if your client has a good insurer, cycling may be covered under a gym membership or as a separate activity.
Exercise equipment, such as stationary bikes, is not covered by any type of Medicare plan. So anyone who wants to exercise at home would have to pay out of their own pocket for the equipment and then look for an insurer that covers gym memberships and/or personal trainers.
Most Medicare Advanced Plans (part C) cover some type of gym membership usually also including aerobics. However, it’s important to know that the coverage is not valid for all gym memberships.
To get coverage for an aerobics class, clients may have to use the services of the companies that are partnered with their insurers. This is usually not an issue unless the client can’t reach a partner gym (they live far away) or they want a specific personal trainer who is not affiliated with any of the partner companies.
Resistance Band Training
Resistance training, as a daily workout routine, helps improve muscle strength, coordination, and range of motion. But it’s also helpful in fighting bone density loss and pain caused by arthritis. Plus, if you have a Medicare part C plan that covers gym memberships and personal trainers, you can easily include resistance training into your routine. Also, it doesn’t require expensive equipment, so it can be done in the comfort of your client’s own home.
And there you have it – the top five most beneficial fitness activities for people 65+ and fitness programs covered by medicare. Now you can put together a special fitness training regime for seniors and help them check with their insurer to see if their efforts for a healthier lifestyle are supported.