Among the distinguishing characteristics of Medicare Supplement insurance plans are the side benefits they offer, such as SilverSneakers. SilverSneakers is a high-demand program for seniors, and many people do not want to change companies unless this benefit is available.
Because Anthem offers some of the most popular and competitive Medicare Supplement plans on the market, we are often asked what the Anthem Blue Cross SilverSneakers plan covers. Anthem offers SilverSneakers coverage.
In this article, we will go through the basics of SilverSneakers and why it is in such high demand. We will then discuss which companies, such as Anthem, give you access to this benefit.
Does Anthem Provide SilverSneakers?
Yes. Anthem provides the SilverSneakers program to all its policyholders.
Beyond SilverSneakers, Anthem offers several other benefits:
- 30 day free look period
- Household Discount on the Premium (where available)
- Portable coverage
- Ability to choose any doctor who accepts Medicare as a form of payment
What is SilverSneakers?
History of the Program
The SilverSneakers Fitness program was founded in 1992 by Mary Swanson. Mary’s father survived a heart attack at age 51. She watched his recovery and the determination he had to improve his health. Because of her knowledge of health and fitness, Mary helped him design a program for strength, flexibility and cardio fitness. Knowing his commitment, she supported him with accountability that ultimately transformed his health and life. This basic program of exercise plus accountability became the bedrock of the SilverSneakers program she later created.
After her father’s transformation, Mary realized other people his age or older needed the same information and support. She began networking with gyms, fitness centers and other healthcare outlets across the country to provide these resources to anyone over the age of 65.
Medicare Supplement insurance companies eventually reached out to her to incorporate the program into their benefit plans. They knew that by enhancing the health care of their customers, they could lower costs for all of their clients.
Since 1992, Silver Sneakers has grown into a nationwide network with more than 16,000 participating fitness and wellness centers, including many YMCAs. It serves more than 13 million eligible members.
SilverSneakers Program Basics and Details
The basic mission of SilverSneakers is to increase health, mobility and overall quality of life for adults over 65.
This includes gym access, fitness program, and even social activity.
Because of the extensive network of gyms and fitness centers, SilverSneakers membership offers these benefits:
- Gym Equipment: Access to fully functional gyms with exercise equipment including weight machines, free weights, cardio equipment, tracks, and even pools.
- Health Classes: Most areas offer classes such as SilverSplash, Cardio Circuit, SilverSneakers YogaStretch, Weight circuit, and CardioFit. Classes are designed for every fitness goal. Many classes are designed to help seniors with physical limitations and health care challenges.
- Social Activities: SilverSneakers sponsors activities and social events in many communities.
- Progress Tracking: Participants have access to HealthwaysFIT.com. This is an online health care resource for members to monitor fitness progression, track health-related current events, and even obtain nutritious recipes.
- Program Advisors: Certified trainers and instructors and can help you reach any health goals you have and keep you accountable in the process.
- SilverSneakers has a location search on its site to determine what is available in your area.
- Mobile App: SilverSneakers created Go, a smartphone app designed to help participants discover, plan and track your workouts.
- On Demand Exercise Videos: Training videos that provide workouts and instruction you can access 24/7 and use at home.
For many of us, it’s been years since we stepped inside a gym. It can be intimidating exercising next to a 20-year-old powerlifter. Silver Sneakers understands this and has created health care programs for various levels and ages to jump this hurdle. There are introductory programs that participants can take advantage of to incorporate fitness back into their life in a safe manner.
SilverSneakers offers other benefits beyond the basic membership plans. Some of those benefits require extra fees that your insurance carrier may not provide. For example, personal training, tanning and massage are often extras available for a reduced charge.
Who is Eligible for SilverSneakers?
When you hear about SilverSneakers you may think, “This is too good to be true! Free gym access, classes, pools, and even massages. Why isn’t every senior taking advantage of this?”
Many seniors don’t know about it.
You may be eligible today. One in every 5 people over 65 qualifies for the program because of benefits they get from their Medicare Supplement insurance carrier.
One thing to remember: SilverSneakers is not covered under Original Medicare Part A and Part B. Medicare Advantage, also known as Part C, may provide the benefit. Many Medicare Supplement companies provide the benefit.
The best resource to discover whether you have free access to SilverSneakers plans is to contact your health insurance company or visit the SilverSneakers online health plan finder.
It’s important to remember that even if an insurance company offers SilverSneakers, the fitness program may not be a part of every plan. For example, SilverSneakers membership might be included if you buy an insurance company’s Medigap Plan G, but not if you buy Plan N. If SilverSneakers is important to you, be sure to check that it’s included before you decide which plan to buy.
Because you were searching for Anthem and SilverSneakers, you probably want to know if Anthem offers the benefit. Maybe you are considering Anthem for one of their Supplement insurance products, and are looking at the extra benefits before deciding.
Let’s go over the basics of Anthem and then discuss the benefits it offers.
Who is Anthem?
Anthem was founded in the 1940s in Indianapolis, Indiana. It has grown from its small beginnings to one of the nation’s largest health insurance carriers. Today it is the largest for-profit managed health care company in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
Anthem currently offers Medicare Supplement Plans in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Depending on your state, Anthem may operate under different brands. In California, it operates under Anthem Blue Cross. In New York, it is Empire BlueCross BlueShield. In the other states, it uses Anthem BlueCross and BlueShield.
What’s the Difference between Anthem and Blue Cross Blue Shield?
Blue Cross Blue Shield is a federation of 35 separate U.S. health insurance companies. It was formed in 1982 as a merger of the two namesake organizations. Today, the federation remains, but many of the individual state companies have been purchased by larger health care organizations such as Anthem, but these companies continue to use the Blue Cross Blue Shield name within their company.
Anthem’s Robust Healthcare Network
Anthem has a robust network of doctors and hospitals throughout the country. This allows individuals and families to have easy access to medical care without driving hours to the nearest approved provider.
Anthem’s Cutting-Edge Healthcare Technology
Recently, Anthem has developed an online medical service called LiveHealth. LiveHealth allows members to access medical services in the privacy of their homes without the need for appointments or travel. This is a 24/7 service and allows face-to-face visits with healthcare professionals and specialists.
Every member has access to a full suite of healthcare videos, insurance billing services, claims submission and customer service.
Medicare Supplement Plans Offered by Anthem
Anthem offers Medicare Supplement Plans A-N, but not all plans may be available in every state. The company’s most popular plans are Plan F, G and N. These plans offer the most comprehensive coverage compared to the other plans
When comparing plans, remember that coverages are standardized by the federal government among companies. Check out our Medicare Supplement coverage chart to compare the differences between each plan.
Anthem Medicare Supplement Plan F
Plan F is not available to those new to Medicare as of 2020. Anyone who entered the system before 2020 can still access Plan F. There have been changes to Plans G and N that might make it worth comparing to save money on premiums and still receive high levels of coverage.
Plan F covers:
- Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital expenses
- Medicare Part A hospice care copayment or coinsurance
- Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
- The first 3 pints of blood each year
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
- Medicare Part A deductible
- Medicare Part B deductible
- Medicare Part B excess charge
- Foreign travel exchange (80%) – up to the plan limit
Anthem Medicare Supplement Plan G
Plan G is similar to Plan F except the Part B deductible is not covered. In 2021, the Part B deductible is $203. You may save enough in premiums by switching to G that will cover the deductible amount. When you speak to one of our agents at Medicare Nationwide, discuss this option and they can run the numbers and see if you will benefit.
Anthem Medicare Supplement Plan N
Plan N covers the same benefits as Plan F, except the Part B deductible and the Part B excess charges. Excess charges can be expensive, but if you are a healthy adult this could be a good option and will have the same premium dollars.
Anthem Medicare Advantage Plans
Anthem offers Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) in many states. Part C plans include extra benefits such as vision, prescription, dental and hearing. Medicare Advantage plans are limited by your geography and the networks available to you. Within Medicare Advantage, you are obligated to stick within their network of providers. This is a good cost-effective option for many people, but make sure you are familiar with the network and their coverages, because the out-of-pocket costs can be high outside of the network.
SilverSneakers is a Benefit Worth Having
SilverSneakers is coverage worth having when you begin shopping for your Medicare Supplement coverages. More companies than just Anthem provide this benefit. When you work with Medicare Nationwide, we will explore multiple companies to find the best value that fits your budget.
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