How does coverage from Medicare and health club memberships work?

A fellow caregiver asked...

How do Medicare gym memberships work? Does any policy of Medicare cover health club memberships, personal trainers, etc., as part of preventative health care?

Expert Answer

That depends on how you receive your Medicare Part B coverage, but in most cases the answer is no. If you are enrolled in  traditional Medicare Part B , directly with Medicare itself, there is very little coverage for any kind of preventive or "wellness" care, and none at all for a gym membership or related fitness training.

If you get your Medicare medical coverage through a Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage HMO or other managed care plan , however, you might be able to get some coverage for membership in a health club or gym.Some, but not all, plans offer such coverage. Medicare doesn't require any Part C plan to offer this kind of coverage, so whether a plan offers any, and what the terms are, depends entirely on the plan's membership contract.To find out what plans are available where you live, you can go to the official Medicare web site's  Medicare Options Compare page. Once you've located the plans available in your area, you must contact the plans directly to find out what their coverage is, and to learn when they are accepting applications for new members.