Silver Sneakers versus Renew Active
Previously, there was one major fitness program for seniors that was accessible when they signed up for Medicare insurance plans. It was Silver Sneakers. Then, in January of 2019, one major insurance carrier dropped Silver Sneakers and replaced it with Renew Active. Renew Active quickly became a reasonable competitor to Silver Sneakers. The following is a comparison between the two so that agents and beneficiaries alike can determine the best plan for their needs.
What is Silver Sneakers?
Silver Sneakers is a fitness and wellness program for seniors (aged 65 and older). It includes free local gym memberships across the country, including over 16,000 gym facilities that participate in the program. If a beneficiary is part of a Medicare Advantage plan that uses Silver Sneakers, they can access any of those gyms at zero cost to themselves. They can use as many of the facilities as they like, as well, instead of being obligated to their local facility.
Silver Sneakers also offers online fitness classes for those who work out at home or away. This is also convenient for beneficiaries who may not live close to one of the partnered gym facilities. Additionally, Silver Sneakers has an app for smartphones that helps keep track of fitness goals and plans, as well as locating participating locations.
What is Renew Active?
Renew Active is also a fitness and wellness program for seniors (aged 65 and older). It is part of the UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage insurance plans. Renew Active also offers standard access to local gyms across the country, which is very similar to Silver Sneakers. They also offer at-home options for those who are working out at home or too far away from their participating locations.
However, there is one thing that Renew Active has that Silver Sneakers does not have: brain training. Renew Active partners with BrainHQ and provides an app that has games and tools meant to keep the brain sharp as it ages. This BrainHQ service is available at $8-$14 a month, which is affordable for most beneficiaries and would seem like a no-brainer (no pun intended).
Silver Sneakers versus Renew Active – The Results
While both Silver Sneakers and Renew Active have thousands of locations, only Silver Sneakers has online streaming classes, a phone app, and multiple insurance carriers that include the benefits with their Medicare Advantage plans. While Renew Active is a reasonable comparison to Silver Sneakers, particularly with their online brain games feature, they do not have an app or online streaming classes and they are only carried by limited insurance companies. It is likely that Silver Sneakers will remain the more common benefit for seniors.
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