Does AARP Medicare Cover SilverSneakers?

In this article...
  • AARP Medicare plans no longer cover SilverSneakers as a benefit, but plan members may now take advantage of the Renew Active program. Learn more about this AARP Medicare plan program and how it compares to SilverSneakers.

AARP partners with UnitedHealthcare (UHC) to offer several types of Medicare plans, including Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) and Medicare Supplement Insurance (also called Medigap) plans. Some of these AARP Medicare plans used to offer a free membership to the SilverSneakers fitness program. 

But in 2018, UnitedHealthcare announced that it would no longer include SilverSneakers as a Medicare plan benefit, but they would instead offer a program called Renew Active. The change applied to all of its AARP Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement Insurance plans. 

Around 2.5 million plan members were affected by the change, across 14 states. 

You can explore Medicare Advantage plans available where you live and find out if any offer fitness benefits that work for your lifestyle. Get quotes from several different plan providers, including AARP, and find a plan that works for you.

What Is AARP Renew Active?

Members of AARP Medicare Advantage plans aren’t entirely out of luck when it comes to fitness program benefits. UnitedHealthcare replaced SilverSneakers with a different fitness program called Renew Active.

Renew Active works similar to SilverSneakers. The program offers a list of participating gyms and fitness centers, which you can find using the “Find a Fitness Location” search tool on the company’s website. Some AARP Medicare Advantage plan members may also have the option of participating from home using a Fitbit and online workout videos. 

Participating Renew Active locations include nationwide gym chains, local fitness centers and even community organizations like senior centers. Some of the participating facilities include:

  • Orangetheory – A heart rate-based total body group workout combining science, coaching and technology

  • Pure Barre – Workouts inspired by elements of ballet, yoga and Pilates that focus on low-impact, high-intensity movements incporporating strength training, stretching and cardio

  • Club Pilates – Low-impact exercise that aims to strengthen muscles and improve flexibility and posture

The gym and fitness center amenities available to Renew Active members will vary by location but may include pools, saunas and more, and they are generally equivalent to a basic membership at the participating facility. 

Some of the activities that may be included in a Renew Active membership include strength and cardio training, stretching, yoga, Pilates, tai chi, Zumba, self-defense training and more. Participating locations with swimming pools may incorporate those into the activities with swimming, water aerobics or other pool activities. 

There are even classes to join and events to attend that cover things like nutrition, caregiving, technology and more. 

Renew Active members begin their journey with a one-on-one session with a personal trainer to establish a baseline of fitness measurement, set goals and customize a fitness plan. Members then meet with their trainer on an annual basis to track their progress. 

Renew Active also generally incorporates brain health activities and uses a brain-health assessment to make personalized recommendations such as puzzles, games, recipes, articles and more designed to improve brain health. 

How Can I Find an AARP Medicare Plan With Fitness Benefits?

You can shop for an AARP Medicare Advantage plan through UnitedHealthcare in your area. Some plans are available with $0 monthly premiums, and some may include coverage for dental, vision, hearing aids, prescription drugs and more. 

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