Elderly Fitness Benefits
To reduce barriers for seniors to engage in healthy physical and social activities.
Through the SilverSneakers fitness program, Medica members with Medicare have access to a wide selection of traditional fitness facilities, as well as to community class locations. The SilverSneakers network includes access to thousands of locally owned gyms, nationally recognized fitness brands and community-based organizations (e.g., the YMCA). The program also offers FLEX classes located outside the gym, as well as in community locations like senior living facilities, community centers and municipal spaces. FLEX classes are small, welcoming and led by enthusiastic instructors.
Medica pairs non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) through its “provide-a-ride” program to members who may have barriers to accessing SilverSneakers-contracted fitness facilities and FLEX locations. In these cases, eligible members may be provided with a monthly pass to use public transportation where available. Where public transportation is not available, members are allowed up to three round trips per week.
How Health Plans Support the Project
Several studies over the past decade have linked SilverSneakers participation to increased physical and emotional health, among other positive outcomes. Medica has anecdotal evidence from its members who use the program that they place a high value on the social and community aspect of the program.