What Is Silver Sneakers & Is the Program Covered by Medicare?

Feb 19, 2024
Fact Checked
This exercise program provides older adults with access to local fitness centers, community classes, and online workouts.
Free program offered through select Medicare plans
Provides access to local fitness centers and online fitness classes

Key Takeaways

Making regular exercise a part of your routine is fundamental for your overall health, providing such benefits as reducing your risk of chronic disease, improving your capability for daily tasks, and strengthening your bones and muscles. Unfortunately, a number of barriers can make it difficult for older adults to stay active, including lack of time and facilities, fear of injury, and high costs.

Silver Sneakers addresses these barriers—this program offers access to thousands of fitness centers nationwide, provides in-person workout classes or remote videos for all fitness levels, and is free through Medicare Advantage.

Our Silver Sneakers review dives into everything you need to know about the program, including the fitness classes offered, how to find a class or fitness center near you, and which Medicare Advantage plans offer this benefit. Keep reading to see if Silver Sneakers is right for you.

Why you can trust our Silver Sneakers review

Our Reviews Team conducts in-depth research so we can provide a thorough, comprehensive review of the products and services we test. We conducted research on nutrition, fitness, and overall healthy living to give you the most accurate information. To better understand the usefulness of fitness programs, we:

Pros and cons

Widespread access to fitness locations across the United States
About 20–30 online fitness classes are available every day
Easy-to-use filters to help you find a class based on preferences and skill level
Only available for free to those with select Medicare Advantage plans
Location finder on the website may be difficult to use
Limited availability of womens-only fitness centers and BOOM classes

What is Silver Sneakers?

Silver Sneakers is a free program available free to older adults through eligible Medicare Advantage plans. The program provides access to more than 15,000 online exercise classes, on-demand workout videos, and fitness centers across the United States. Silver Sneakers aims to eliminate barriers like cost and accessibility facing older adults seeking out fitness programs.

What does the Silver Sneakers membership include?

The Silver Sneakers membership includes:

Fitness locations

Silver Sneakers gives you free access to participating fitness locations like gyms and community centers. The company’s contact information (address, phone number, and website) will be available when you find a location on the Silver Sneakers website.

Silver Sneakers allows you to take in-person classes at a fitness location near you. You can click through each fitness center to learn more about the classes and amenities. The one downside is a lack of specific class schedules for each fitness center on the Silver Sneakers website. You will have to contact each fitness center to learn more about their specific class schedule to see if the classes fit your needs and preferences.

Live online classes

If there isn’t a convenient Silver Sneakers location near you, you can opt for an online class. About 20–30 classes are available each day, all with various class types and instructors, so you can find something to fit your schedule, exercise preferences, and skill level.

During these classes, you can access a group chat if you wish to connect with other members. You will only see your instructor; no one in the class can see you.

Community classes

In community classes, you can exercise with others who are also part of the Silver Sneakers program. A sense of community might make exercise feel less daunting and more approachable. You may feel more motivated and likely to try something outside your comfort zone if you know others will support and encourage you. Being part of a workout community also helps with consistency—making you more likely to keep showing up to see your friends and enjoy a social connection while exercising.

Community classes are offered online and in person. Generally, in-person community classes aren’t located at traditional fitness centers. You will likely find these classes at a local community center or park. To find an online or in-person community class, enter your ZIP code on the website. You can also filter your results by choosing online, in-person, or all classes.

Silver Sneakers offers more than 80 fitness classes, but they may not be available near you. When we entered our location, 10 class types were available within the next week, including yoga, Zumba Gold, Barre, Tai Chi/Qigong, and chair aerobics.

Workout and nutrition videos

Although there are many live online classes, you may feel more comfortable exercising alone and on your own time. If you prefer this option, workout videos are available whenever you need them. Like in-person or live classes, these workout videos cover a variety of exercises focused on flexibility, balance, cardio, and strength.

As an added bonus, Silver Sneakers also offers nutrition and wellness videos to teach you more about overall health and healthy eating.

Workout video options on the website.
Examples of available videos

What kind of classes are included with Silver Sneakers?

Silver Sneakers has something for every fitness level. If you are new to working out, there are plenty of options for beginners. More challenging options are also available if you’re at an intermediate or advanced level. All of the workouts last 30–45 minutes.

Beginner-friendly classes

We found these Silver Sneakers classes to be great for beginners, people recovering from an injury, and those managing chronic pain:

Intermediate classes

If you are looking for slightly more challenging Silver Sneakers workouts, you can try an intermediate class, such as:

Advanced classes

Silver Sneakers’ high-intensity classes are sure to break a sweat. If you’re looking for a challenging workout, try one of the following:

A quick guide to all of the Silver Sneakers class types available for all skill levels:

Skill LevelName of ClassStanding or SittingFocuses on Type of ExerciseEquipment Recommended (but not required)
BeginnerSilver Sneakers ClassicSittingStrengthHandheld weights, elastic tubing with handles, and a soft non-weighted ball
BeginnerSilver Sneakers SplashN/A (swimming)EnduranceSplash board
BeginnerFall prevention exercisesStandingBalance and flexibilityNone
BeginnerSilver Sneakers YogaBoth (may include floorwork)Strength, flexibility, and balanceFloor mat
BeginnerSilver Sneakers EnerchiStanding (chair for support)Balance and flexibilityNone
BeginnerSilver Sneakers StabilityStanding (chair for support)Balance and flexibilityNone
BeginnerZumba GoldStandingBalance and flexibilityNone
IntermediateSilver Sneakers CircuitStanding (chair for support)Endurance and strengthHandheld weights, elastic tubing with handles, and a soft non-weighted ball
IntermediateCardio MixStandingEnduranceNone
IntermediateTotal Body StrengthStandingStrengthNone
IntermediateCardio DanceStandingEnduranceNone
IntermediateSilver Sneakers BOOM MindStanding (may include floorwork)Endurance and flexibilityFloor mat
IntermediateBodyweight BootcampStanding (may include floorwork)Endurance and strengthNone
AdvancedSilver Sneakers BOOM MoveStandingEnduranceNone
AdvancedSilver Sneakers BOOM MuscleStandingStrengthNone
AdvancedYoga FlowBoth (may include floorwork)Strength and flexibilityFloor mat

Does Medicare cover Silver Sneakers?

The Silver Sneakers program is covered under most Medicare Advantage plans (also called Part C) and Medigap plans (also called Medicare Supplement Insurance). It is not covered under original Medicare Part A and Part B plans.

Is Silver Sneakers available outside of Medicare Advantage?

There are two main types of Medicare coverage—original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you’re likely eligible for the Silver Sneakers Program. Check with your plan to be sure.

If you have original Medicare, you might not be eligible for Silver Sneakers unless you have additional insurance, called a Medicare Supplement Plan, or Medigap. Use the Silver Sneakers tool to see if your plan covers the program. If you don’t have a Medicare Advantage plan that includes Silver Sneakers, you can access on-demand exercise videos by creating an online Silver Sneakers account.

Medicare PlanWhat is it?Eligible for Silver Sneakers?
Original Medicare (Part A and B)A federal health insurance plan covering part of the cost of medical services while you cover the remaining costNo
Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap)The Original Medicare plan with additional insurance from a private insurance company to help you pay your share of the costsMost likely (check with your plan to be sure)
Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C)A private health insurance plan approved by Medicare that offers extra benefits Original Medicare may not coverMost likely (check with your plan to be sure)

If you are unsure if your health care plan covers Silver Sneakers, you can see a full list of health plan providers on the website, sorted by state.

UnitedHealthcare Renew Active Program

The UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plan offers a program similar to Silver Sneakers called Renew Active. Renew Active provides membership to certain fitness locations at no additional cost.

Renew Active does not include an app or access to online fitness classes. They do have a brain health program through AARP called Staying Sharp. They also offer a Fitbit Community program where members can connect online (you do not need a Fitbit device to join) and access workout videos.

How to sign up for Silver Sneakers

If you have an eligible Medicare plan, you become a Silver Sneakers member by visiting their website (www.silversneakers.com). If you are unsure about your Silver Sneakers eligibility, you can fill out a quick eligibility check on their website. Checking our eligibility took us less than one minute to complete. It will prompt you to enter basic information about yourself (name, birthday, location, and email address), and the website will let you know if you’re eligible.

A screen showing the instant eligibility check on the site.

Once your eligibility is confirmed, you will start the enrollment process by creating an account. When complete, you can print out a membership card to bring to any Silver Sneakers location. As long as you’re logged into your account, you can access online Silver Sneakers classes.

How to find a Silver Sneakers gym near you

To find a Silver Sneakers location, go to the fitness location map on the website and enter your ZIP code, city, or address to find a location near you. You can easily filter locations by class, amenities, and gender:

The map’s results are within a 25-mile radius from your location. If you want to see results outside the 25-mile radius, you’ll have to type in a new location. The map does not allow you to drag your cursor around the map to see additional locations further away. This can make it difficult if you travel and want to find a fitness location on the way or near your destination.

When we used the filters for classes in our area, we noticed it was most difficult to find women-only fitness centers and BOOM classes within a reasonable distance. Depending on where you live, you may have difficulty finding a location with these specific amenities.

How to find an online class

To find an online class, go to the Silver Sneakers website and click the “Classes” tab at the top. From there, you can choose between live online classes or on-demand videos.

You can apply several different filters when looking for a fitness class to join. These filters make it easy to sort through all available options and find a class specific to your preferences and skills. You can filter your Silver Sneakers class options based on:

A results page showing beginner Zumba Gold classes available in the evening.

How we research and evaluate fitness programs

Based on our expert consultations and research, we determined the following factors to be essential for our readers when signing up for a fitness platform:

We had all of our reviews medically reviewed by an expert in the field to ensure the information is appropriate for NCOA readers’ needs.

Silver Sneakers customer reviews

Currently, there are no reviews of Silver Sneakers on the Better Business Bureau or Trustpilot. But we could find reviews on the App Store and Google Play. While many reviews talk about the app’s functionality, others also discuss the programming.

Overall, reviewers are happy with the exercises, and described them as approachable and enjoyable. Some older reviews from 2020 and 2021 report technical issues with the app, specifically for guided workouts.

One review from the App Store says, “So far this past week, I’ve joined live workouts for 15 minutes and I’m already starting to feel much better, physically and mentally. I’m 80 years old and had a very bad fall last year which left me unable to exercise for one year. I’m so thankful for being able to work out from home and slowly get moving again.”

Bottom line

Silver Sneakers is a program designed to make exercise classes and workouts at local gyms more accessible for older adults. Although Silver Sneakers is free, it is only available to people with a Medicare Advantage plan or original Medicare plus Medigap.

The website is user-friendly, making finding a fitness location and online class to join easy. You can use the filters to narrow down your results to find a class or location to suit your preferences and skills. It is a little difficult to navigate the fitness location map, though, and you may have difficulty finding a nearby women-only fitness center or BOOM classes. But other than those amenities, you should be able to find a location for you.

Frequently asked questions

Silver Sneakers is a health and fitness program offered through select Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. The program provides free access to online exercise classes and more than 15,000 fitness locations throughout the United States.

Older adults can create a free Silver Sneakers membership on the program website if they have a Medicare Advantage plan or original Medicare plus Medigap. The Silver Sneakers website also has an eligibility checker if you’re unsure if you qualify. Once you’ve created an account, you can print a membership card for access to any Silver Sneakers location. To access classes online, simply log into your Silver Sneakers account.

The Silver Sneakers program is no longer available through UnitedHealthcare’s AARP Medicare Plans because they created their own similar fitness plan called Renew Active.

Certain Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans cover Silver Sneakers.

Silver Sneakers may be covered outside of Medicare Advantage. You must have a Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap) to be eligible for Silver Sneakers.

According to Silver Sneakers, 95% of members rate their health as excellent, very good or good, while 88% say the program has improved their quality of life.

Have questions about this review? Email us at reviewsteam@ncoa.org.


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  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overcoming Barriers to Physical Activity. June 16, 2023. Found on the internet at https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adding-pa/barriers.html
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 3 Reasons to Work Out With a Friend. July 7, 2022. Found on the internet at https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/spotlights/workout-buddy.html
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Facts About Falls. April 12, 2023. Found on the internet at https://www.cdc.gov/falls/facts.html
  5. Lau C, et al. Effects of a 12-Week Hatha Yoga Intervention on Cardiorespiratory Endurance, Muscular Strength and Endurance, and Flexibility in Hong Kong Chinese Adults: A Controlled Clinical Trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. June 2015. Found on the internet at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4475706/
  6. Lipecki K, Rutowicz B. The Impact of Ten Weeks of Bodyweight Training on the Level of Physical Fitness and Selected Parameters of Body Composition in Women Aged 21–23 Years. Polish Journal of Sport and Tourism. June 2015 Found on the internet at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283538191_The_Impact_Of_Ten_Weeks_Of_Bodyweight_Training_On_The_Level_Of_Physical_Fitness_And_Selected_Parameters_Of_Body_Composition_In_Women_Aged_21-23_Years
  7. National Institute on Aging. How Can Strength Training Build Healthier Bodies as We Age? June 2022. Found on the internet at https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/how-can-strength-training-build-healthier-bodies-we-age
Mikayla Morell is a health and wellness writer who is passionate about spreading reliable, accessible, and informative health information to people of all backgrounds and identities.
Chrissy Arsenault Medical Reviewer
Chrissy Arsenault is a Registered Dietitian with over nine years of experience in health and wellness. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University and a Master of Business Administration from Indiana University. She first started in the fitness industry, working as a personal trainer at Cornell Fitness Centers to help individuals reach their health and fitness goals.
Susan Stiles
Susan Stiles Reviewer
Susan Stiles, PhD, provides leadership in the design and development of consumer products that inspire, educate, and activate older adults. She’s been instrumental in bringing the Aging Mastery Program® to market and scaling it nationwide via strategic alliances and business partnerships. Stiles has 20+ years of experience in design thinking, multimedia, strategic communications, and management consulting.
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