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Does Medicare cover a personal trainer?

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If you’re struggling to stay motivated in a fitness routine on your own, you may desire the services of a personal trainer.

What is a personal trainer?

A personal trainer can help you achieve your personal health and fitness goals by overseeing your fitness program in a fitness facility or private setting, according to the Personal Trainer Organization. Many personal trainers have professional certification, affirming that the trainer agrees to practice according to a code of conduct, safety standards, and professional integrity held by the certifying board.

How much does it cost to hire a personal trainer?  

The cost to hire a personal trainer varies based on a number of factors, including the features of the fitness program and the location of the personal trainer and service delivery. Women’s Health magazine notes the services of a personal trainer are most expensive in large cities, and when delivered at home or at posh fitness studios. In general, personal trainer costs can range from $60 to $500 an hour, although the average cost is in the range of $110 – $200. LiveStrong.com observes alternative delivery methods—such as a web-based exercise program led by a personal trainer–may be an option for some individuals, and at a fraction of the cost of an in-person personal trainer session.

Does Medicare cover a personal trainer?

Medicare Part B administered by the federal government generally does not cover a personal trainer’s services. In a small number of cases, Medicare Part B may cover a limited amount of occupational and physical therapy, which could include some exercise and fitness training if your doctor specifically prescribed the therapy. Medicare Part B does not provide coverage for gym memberships or related fitness training. However, you may have coverage if you purchased a Medicare Supplement plan from a private insurance company that offers gym membership/personal trainer services as an added benefit. Or, if you enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, the plan may provide you a supplement benefit for gym membership and/or related fitness training. 

How does the Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) personal fitness trainer benefit work?

Medicare Advantage plans are not required to offer fitness benefits. However, many Medicare Advantage plans provide gym memberships and the associated services of the gym’s personal trainers as a supplemental benefit. Gym membership may be provided at a reduced monthly fitness club membership cost, or at no cost.

If a Medicare Advantage plan offers a gym membership benefit, Medicare requires the benefit to include an orientation to the facility and the equipment. The benefit also may include development of a personalized exercise plan and a limited number of sessions with a certified personal trainer. A number of fitness centers have personal trainers on staff to assist individuals develop their personalized fitness plans as part of the orientation. Personal trainers may also offer group exercise programs for mature adults at a modest cost. No Medicare Advantage plans are permitted to cover the services of a personal trainer at the member’s home, however, in accordance with Medicare’s benefit guidelines.

Do you have further questions about Medicare coverage and personal trainers’ services? Would you like help finding Medicare Advantage plans that offer gym memberships and associated training as a benefit supplement? I would be happy to help you.

To get some more Medicare plan information to review, click the Get Quotes button to schedule a phone call with me or have me email you plan options available through eHealth.

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