New Fitness Programs for Medicare Beneficiaries

New Fitness Programs for Medicare Beneficiaries

The saying goes, “you’re only as old as you feel”, which is true for the most part. But every aging person will tell you, the key to maintaining youth is being healthy, mind, body and soul. 

One of the ways to go about, “feeling youthful”, is routine exercise.  

Research has proven that exercise is important for the brain. Maintaining blood flow to the brain is essential for healthy brain function. Since blood flow generates nutrients and oxygen to the brain it’s vital to keep an active exercise regime.  

An added bonus with exercise is it can promote endorphins. Endorphins can boost the mood which can also improve brain health. Exercise also improves cognitive abilities over the age of 50.  

Not only that, but resistance training enhances function and memory. It also slows brain aging by 10 years and can decrease the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. 

Medicare Beneficiaries and Gym Memberships 

As most individuals carrying Traditional Medicare insurance benefits know, the insurance coverage provided by our federal government is generous, however, limited.  

With Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B only covering your hospital and outpatient benefits, respectfully, most gym memberships aren’t covered. 

In some cases, beneficiaries with certain cardiac issues can qualify for medically necessary cardiac rehabilitation including:  

  • If you’ve suffered from a myocardial infarction 
  • If you’ve had a cardiac stent, angioplasty or bypass surgery 
  • If you’ve had a heart valve repair or replacement 
  • You have stable angina or chronic heart failure 

Additionally, beneficiaries who have suffered from a stroke are eligible for medically necessary physical and occupational rehabilitation services. And those individuals with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are eligible for a medically necessary comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation program.  

Medicare Part B will cover 80% of the Medicare allowables for the medically necessary therapies once the Part B deductible has been met. 

While Traditional Medicare benefits won’t cover recreational gym memberships, some Medicare Advantage Plans might. Medicare Advantage Plans cover the same benefits as Traditional Medicare and in some cases include additional benefits for:  

  • Prescription medications 
  • Vision exams, including eyeglasses 
  • Dental insurance 
  • Hearing exams, including hearing aids 

Some Medicare Advantage Plans even include wellness benefits including gym memberships at a discounted price, so exercise needed to stay healthy is readily available.  

The SilverSneakers Program 

The SilverSneakers Program began in 1992 with the goal to improve the overall wellbeing physically, mentally and emotionally in older Americans.  

SilverSneakers is a program designed for Medicare beneficiaries to participate in a fitness program while keeping them engaged and interested all while encouraging social interaction through fun activities. 

Since becoming a nationwide program with more than 15,000 fitness establishments, more than 12 million members take advantage of the wellness program. Catering to the age group of 65 and above, SilverSneakers includes access to: 

  • State of the art fitness and work out equipment 
  • Exclusive exercise classes for individuals at all variations of fitness levels 
  • Local community social events 
  • Walking/running tracks, pools, hot tubs tennis courts, racquetball/handball courts 
  • Online fitness, health and nutrition tips and resources 

General membership also includes access to specialty programs which include: 

  • Online web resources in which member can track health-related current events, monitor fitness progression, watch exercise videos, obtain healthy recipes and more 
  • Special events and forums related to fitness and health  
  • SilverSneakers Steps for members who don’t live close to any fitness facility 
  • Program counselors who serve as informational advisors to fitness facilities, benefits and perks 

While SilverSneakers are an added benefit for Medicare beneficiaries, you’ll need to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan or certain Medicare Supplement Plan in order to benefit from the fitness perks. While you’ll have to pay an additional premium with these specific plans, you won’t be required to pay extra for the SilverSneakers Program.   

What Happens if SilverSneakers Has Been Dropped After the New Year 

As of 2019 United Health Care decided to drop the SilverSneakers programs which has left many in an uproar. As it stands, United Healthcare is one of the nation’s biggest health insurance provider. 

With so many beneficiaries benefiting from this fitness program, the question many are asking is why? According to a statement put out by United Healthcare, they want a wider variety of fitness resources for their members. They’ve also determined that an estimated 90% of benefit holders never have utilized the gym benefits offered over the years. 

Those individuals with United Health Care Medicare Advantage Plan that reside in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, and Utah will have lost the added benefits as of January 1, 2019. This will end up affecting a total of 1.2 million beneficiaries. 

Another 1.3 million beneficiaries living in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin, who carry United Healthcare Medigap Plans will be affected, also. 

In lieu of the SilverSneakers program, United Healthcare will offer an alternative fitness package of wellness benefits. The move will benefit the major insurance company by giving them more control and help in saving the corporation money. 

For members carrying United Healthcare Supplement Plans, beneficiaries will be offered telephone access to wellness coaches, access to online health related communities as well as 50% off memberships to a variety of different gyms around the United States. 

United Healthcare Medicare Advantage policy holders have the option to join a new fitness program called Renew Active. According to unitedhealthgroup, beneficiaries will have access to over 6,000 fitness facilities at no cost.  

Additionally, with Renew Active, United Healthcare Medicare Advantage Plan beneficiaries will benefit from their online program which will offer activities for brain stimulation as well as online exercises for those who can’t make it to the gym. 

When you combine the more than 5 million customers who look to be affected, the company has made an announcement stating based on certain market research, some beneficiaries may still be able to retain SilverSneakers access in the new year. 

Of course, those not happy with United Healthcare’s decision to force them from their familiar SilverSneakers benefits, can always consider changing health insurance companies all together. Many of the Medicare Supplement Plans and Medicare Advantage Plans including those associated with Aetna, Humana, Blue Cross and Blue Shields will still be offering the perks of SilverSneakers. 

Whichever insurance company you decide to go with, and whichever fitness program is offered, it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Routine exercise along with a healthy diet has been proven to prevent certain diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis and cardiac disease. Additionally, chronic conditions like fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension and high cholesterol can be better managed and even some cases reversed.  

With a healthier lifestyle comes a healthier mindset and increased lifespan. So while the saying goes, “you’re only as old as you feel”, it’s important to remember that good health promotes a happier mind, body and soul!  

Bill Passed Senate for Michigan Deal on Medicaid Work Rules

Bill Passed Senate for Michigan Deal on Medicaid Work Rules

Michigan’s Republican Governor Rick Snyder stated Thursday that he is in agreement to require Medicaid recipients to work, train for employment, or attend school to remain eligible. The details aren’t set in stone yet, but there is a consensus in the legislature that ensures the bill will almost certainly pass.

The governor opposed the bill when it was approved by the state Senate, controlled by the GOP. He is in favor of encouraging recipients to work, but didn’t want to create a situation where the conditions were so strict that people were unable to succeed.

The initially proposed requirement to work 29 hours per week for able-bodied adults was reduced to 20 hours per week. The proposal is similar to three other states that have imposed work requirements for Medicaid. Michigan also has work requirements for individuals receiving food stamps.

Snyder also verified that a provision that would have allowed recipients in counties with 8.5 percent or higher unemployment to satisfy the requirement by actively looking for work. The proposal would’ve benefitted whites in rural areas, but hurt predominantly black cities such as Flint and Detroit. Unemployment is high for the city, but low for the county as a whole.

The bill has been passed in the Senate and is sitting in the House, also led by Republicans. The bill would require eligible able-bodied adults to work an average of 29 hours per week to qualify. Eligible activities include employment, job training, vocational programs, substance abuse treatment, or an internship.

Someone who fails to comply with the program requirements will receive a 30 day notice to comply. If they fail to do so, they’ll be banned from receiving Medicaid for a year.

Governor Snyder opposed the 29-hour requirement, noting that many individuals on the program work in part-time positions where they don’t have the opportunity to work that many hours. He hopes to see a balance with the bill to make it more feasible.

2.5 million Michigan residents are currently enrolled in Medicaid, Michigan Medicare has about the same number of enrollees. The work requirement would impact roughly 1 million non-elderly adults. 700,000 of able-bodied adults would not able to be exempt from the work requirements.

Republican House Speaker Tom Leonard stated on Thursday that he wants to House to pass the law in June before members of the legislature separate for the summer. He feels that the 2014 expansion of Medicaid is unsustainable, with an original ceiling of 470,000 enrollees for the program. Currently, there are more than 650,000 enrollees in the program under the expansion.

He also mentioned that the state is footing more costs for Medicaid expansion, which burdens the budget and taxpayers in the state. He stated that government assistance shouldn’t be a handout, but a hand up to help individuals sustain themselves and their families.

Advocates for the poor and Democrats are opposed to the bill. Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich feels that the sole reason for passage is to cut off health care. If the state was serious about people working, they’d invest in transportation, job training, and day care to make it easier for the poor to seek employment.

He also noted that people who lose access to Medicaid will go to the emergency room for medical care, further driving up costs and passing them onto other residents in the form of health care premiums. People can work if they have health care to stay healthy, treat chronic conditions, and help pay for prescription medications to manage them. Without these protections, more adults ignore medical concerns in favor of paying for their basic needs.

How Senior Active Gear is Bringing Sexy Back

How Senior Active Gear is Bringing Sexy Back

Exercise is extremely important. For senior citizens, exercise can be a vital part of the day. It can help with joint pain, keep you feeling younger, and even help you look amazing. Exercise is great for the heart, brain, and lungs as well. There’s just one problem with working out like a senior citizen. What on earth do you wear?

There are multiple companies that design active wear for both men and women. Sometimes, however, these styles are not meant for senior citizens. They can be too small, too revealing, or uncomfortable. This line is not ideal for older exercisers who just want to be comfy.

Luckily, there are now brands available that provide multiple styles that available for senior citizens that provide the right sizes, stylish looks, and comfy clothes that aren’t too revealing. These amazing active wear items are perfect for those who want to keep up their fitness habits even though they might be a bit older. Here are some of the benefits of these new lines of active wear for senior citizens.

Stylish

The newer lines of active wear for senior citizens are amazing in multiple ways, but one of the greater benefits of these new lines are the stylish factor. There is no need to look clunky or ridiculous in active wear any longer because these new styles are fashionable along with the other wonderful benefits.

There is also a great variety of outfits for you to choose. With shorts, yoga pants, tops, sweat pants, jackets, and more, you have the opportunity to create an outfit all your own.

The best part about the styles is the ability to be creative. Just like with active wear for younger men and women, these lines for senior citizens come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. For those who enjoy being able to pick out patterns and colors to match your taste, these amazing new lines of active wear are the perfect pick for you. Now you can exercise with some of the gorgeous styles you might see younger men and women sporting at the gym.

Comfy

Another major addition to the new senior citizens’ line of active wear is the comfort factor. To older men and women, normal workout clothing lines are uncomfortable. Whether it be the fabric they are made from or the way they are designed, these clothing lines are often not tailored to fit older men and women. Luckily, with the new lines of active wear for senior citizens, comfort is not sacrificed for the sake of looks.

For senior citizens who would rather have comfy over stylish workout attire, they now have the option to have both. There’s no need to sacrifice, and even if you don’t mind the styles, you can have your comfort. Made with some of the most comfortable fabric, these new lines are perfect for those who want to wear their active wear all day long as well.

Covering

The aspect of being covering is more prevalent in women than men, but luckily senior citizens no longer have to worry about their active wear being too revealing. The women’s tops are made with higher necklines than younger styles; the shorts are longer, and the pants are a bit looser than their younger counterparts. Senior men no longer have to worry about their shirts being too tight, which is great news for those who might be uncomfortable showing off their body shape.

Now that senior citizens no longer have to worry about their workout attire being too revealing, they can relax in their clothes. These people both women and men can enjoy their day and their workout without worrying about too much skin being shown. This covering is great news for senior citizens who have been searching for workout attire that is covering.

Sizing

The sizing of active wear has lacked over the years, not including a few bigger sizes that might be better suited to older men and women. This sizing problem is not to say that all senior citizens need bigger sizes, but most need something a bit bigger and baggier. With the new lines of senior citizen active wear clothes, they are getting just this. The sizes are made to feel loose on your skin without being too big or too small.

With sizes that range over a wide variety, the new lines of active wear for older men and women give those ready to exercise a chance to do so with their clothes fitting just perfectly. There’s no need to worry about your clothes being too revealing just to fit your size, and there’s no need to worry if your clothes will be too big just so you are comfortable. The new sizing charts help to make any older man and woman feel comfy while exercising.

Conclusion

It seems crazy to think that these amazing new lines of sexier active wear for senior citizens hasn’t been around very long. Fashion is finally meeting functional all within these amazing activewear lines. With the incredible styles, perfect sizing, and comfortable factor, these outfits are perfect for any older man or woman seeking to be active. The styles can be found in several different places, and there is a little something for everyone. You can finally feel confident and amazing with your new active wear that is perfect for your style, body type, and size.

The amazing colors, patterns, and styles of this new active wear is perfect for the stylish man or woman wanting to step out of their comfort zone and begin a fitness program. If this is something you have always dreamed up, but the clothes have been stopping you, now is finally your chance. You can now go to the gym with confidence instead of worrying with your clothing. There is something in each style to make even the pickiest person confident. Senior citizens can now enjoy their day or workout in comfort, style, and the right size. It’s finally available for older men and women, and it is time to stock up!