SilverSneakers Medicare Review

Fitness benefit for people 65 and older through participating Medicare plans

We publish unbiased product reviews; our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payment we receive from our advertising partners. Learn more about how we review products and read our advertiser disclosure for how we make money.

SilverSneakers

 SilverSneakers

Our Take

SilverSneakers is a well-established fitness program for members of some of the nation’s largest Medicare insurance plans. You can’t sign up for SilverSneakers unless you’re a member of one of those participating health plans, but it’s free for eligible members. For staying fit—in person or online—SilverSneakers offers great options for Medicare members.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Free fitness benefits for members of participating Medicare insurance plans

  • Partners with more than 17,000 gyms and other facilities nationwide

  • Offers on-demand and live online classes

Cons
  • Only available through Medicare insurance plans

  • Better Business Bureau (BBB) complaints

Key Takeaways
  • Fitness program designed for people ages 65 and over
  • Available to more than 16 million Medicare members through participating health plans 
  • Partners with the nation’s leading Medicare Advantage plans 
  • Offers online and in-person fitness classes as well as a fitness app
Company Overview

SilverSneakers is a national community fitness program for adults 65 and older. It offers fitness classes online or at more than 17,000 gyms or other facilities. SilverSneakers partners with more than 60 health plan partners, including UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, Anthem, Humana, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Kaiser Permanente, among others. Participating Medicare insurance plans offer SilverSneakers as a free extra benefit to their members. Through these partnerships, more than 16 million members have access to the program. 

SilverSneakers is owned by Tivity Health, a public company that offers fitness, nutrition, and alternative medicine services through national networks of partners and providers. SilverSneakers represented nearly three-quarters of Tivity Health’s revenue in 2020, despite significant declines in gym visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Geographical Restrictions

SilverSneakers partners with more than 17,000 gyms and other facilities nationwide. Members can visit any participating facility even when they’re traveling.

  • Year Founded 1992
  • Kinds of Plans Fitness benefits available through Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance, and group retiree insurance plans
  • Number of Plans N/A
  • Payment Options Free to members of participating health plans
  • Customer Service Telephone and email (via online form)
  • Phone Number 866-584-7389
  • Official Website www.silversneakers.com

Pros Explained

  • Free fitness benefits for members of participating Medicare insurance plans: SilverSneakers is free to consumers. Participating Medicare health insurers pay the fees for consumers to access the benefits.
  • Partners with more than 17,000 gyms and other facilities nationwide: Large network of gyms and other types of community settings where members can access fitness facilities and classes.
  • Offers on-demand and live online classes: Not everyone can safely get to the gym for in-person fitness classes, so SilverSneakers offers on-demand and live fitness classes online—a great alternative to stay fit from home.

Cons Explained

  • Only available through Medicare insurance plans: SilverSneakers is a perk for members of participating health plans. It’s not available to the general public, so if you just want a fitness program, you have to look elsewhere.
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB) Complaints: According to the Better Business Bureau, Tivity Health—SilverSneakers’ parent company—has a pattern of customer complaints over eligibility mix-ups. The company pledged to update its processes to remedy the issues. To avoid these problems, double-check your own SilverSneakers eligibility before you cancel your existing gym membership.

Available Plans

SilverSneakers doesn’t offer Medicare insurance plans, but it partners with many Medicare plans who offer SilverSneakers as a free extra benefit for members. SilverSneakers offers on-demand and live online courses, a fitness app, and in-person fitness classes.

Note

SilverSneakers is not a Medicare insurance provider, but it partners with more than 60 Medicare health plans around the country who offer SilverSneakers as an extra benefit to their members.

Customer Service

Members can call 866-584-7389, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Members can also request an email via an online form.

Customer Satisfaction 

SilverSneakers reports a 94% customer satisfaction rate and a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 81. NPS is a standard measure of customer satisfaction used across industries. Typically, a nine or 10 out of 10 represents customers who are so satisfied they will promote the business. SilverSneakers’ NPS score suggests customers are satisfied even if they aren’t likely to be evangelists for the company.

Third-Party Ratings

Tivity Health, SilverSneakers’ parent company, is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau but the BBB reports it has had 47 complaints against Tivity Health in the past three years, including 28 in the past 12 months. The BBB has issued an alert that they have observed a pattern of complaints against Tivity Health. The nature of these complaints has to do with confusion over SilverSneakers eligibility. Consumers who believed they were eligible for gym membership through SilverSneakers cancelled their existing gym memberships, only to find out they did not meet SilverSneakers’ age eligibility requirements. Tivity Health has responded to the complaints via the BBB, promising to review its enrollment processes, add monitoring to ensure accurate eligibility, and update its customer service training.

The Better Business Bureau reports a pattern of customer complaints about eligibility mix-ups; check your SilverSneakers eligibility before you cancel any other gym membership you may have.

Cost

SilverSneakers is free to members of participating Medicare insurance plans.

Competition: SilverSneakers vs. UnitedHealthcare

If you’re looking for a Medicare insurance plan, you can’t choose SilverSneakers. But there’s a good chance the plan you choose will give you access to SilverSneakers as a free extra benefit. For Medicare insurance coverage, consider UnitedHealthcare, the insurer with the largest share of Medicare Advantage members. UnitedHealthcare offers a range of Medicare Advantage and supplemental plans and scores well on the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Star Ratings (CMS) quality measures. UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans are available in 66% of U.S. counties, and its Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Insurance plans are available in every state. There are many Medicare plans that will get you access to SilverSneakers benefits, but as the market leader, UnitedHealthcare is a good all-around option for its range of available plans and extra benefits.

  SilverSneakers UnitedHealthcare
Number of States Available 50 50
Medicare Services Online and in-person fitness programs for Medicare members in participating health plans Medicare Advantage HMO, HMO-POS, and PPO Plans; Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) Plans;
Stand-Alone Prescription Drug Plans (PDP); Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNP); Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) Plans
Customer Service Options Telephone and email via online form Telephone, online, in person, chat
AM Best Rating N/A A- (Excellent)
Average CMS Star Rating N/A 3.78
Final Verdict

SilverSneakers is a popular fitness program designed for people 65 and older. It’s available to millions of Medicare health plan members at no charge. The company has added online options, both live and on-demand, as in-person gym activity dipped during the pandemic. Its partners are most of the largest Medicare Advantage insurers in the country, and its coverage is nationwide. To stay fit and healthy, SilverSneakers is a great option for Medicare members.

How We Reviewed Medicare Providers

Even Medicare health plans with a national presence can vary locally in their cost, quality, and customer satisfaction. To evaluate Medicare plans, we looked at health insurance industry ratings from the primary accrediting agency for health plans, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), and the Medicare Star Ratings from CMS, the regulatory agency that oversees Medicare. We included the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ complaint index, and AM Best’s financial stability ratings. We also considered information from the companies on their programs and strategies.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Better Business Bureau. “Tivity Health, Inc.” Accessed March 1, 2021.

  2. Net Promoter. "What is Net Promoter?" Accessed March 8, 2021.

  3. Kaiser Family Foundation. “A Dozen Facts About Medicare Advantage in 2019.” Accessed March 1, 2021.

  4. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “Part C and D Performance Data, 2021 Star Ratings Data Table.” Accessed December 11, 2020.

  5. Kaiser Family Foundation. “Medicare Advantage 2021 Spotlight: First Look.” Accessed December 11, 2020.