HOUSTON – Life Time Fitness clubs have announced that they will begin limiting access to seniors who are on Medicare.
“We go every day, usually at least six days a week,” said Paul Hughes.
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Going to the gym is a big part of Paul and his wife Alba’s life.
“I usually do two classes a day,” Alba said.
Like many people on Medicare, Paul’s membership is paid for through the Silver Sneakers program.
“Basically, I don’t have a fee,” he said. “I pay for my wife every month, but mine is free, and you can go whenever you want, seven days a week.”
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Paul and other regular Medicare members received emails saying that starting January 1, their access to the gym will be restricted.
“For example, on Saturday I can’t go until 2 p.m.,” he said.
On Sundays, regular Medicare members can go during all opening hours.
But from Monday to Friday they can go only from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Alba says she attends classes at 8:30
“Usually we can go together in the same car,” he said. “But now he can’t go with me because he doesn’t get in until 9:30.”
Medicare members who want full access to the gym must pay $100 per month.
Easier said than done for many retirees.
“We really don’t like it,” Paul said. “50, 60, 70 old timers have signed a petition asking Lifetime to change its mind on this.”
“I think it’s a form of discrimination against the elderly,” Alba said.
After calling and visiting Lifetime Fitness, we were told the general manager had our number. We haven’t received an answer yet.
Lifetime released the following statement under the restrictions:
The January 1, 2024 change is due in part to a fee Medicare Fitness Program administrators pay on behalf of enrollees (which is a small fraction of our regular membership fees and a free item for nearly all eligible Medicare members). We want to ensure a fair and equitable offer in relation to what people under the age of 65 pay for a Life Time membership. Instead of renewing contracts and offering new membership options to Medicare members, we ultimately sought to create a solution that could continue to serve the large and rapidly growing Medicare population and do so at a sustained, significant cost advantage. We understand there isn’t a perfect solution for everyone, but we believe we’ve arrived at an offer that continues to offer strong value with unlimited visits and options – including a basic membership with revised hours ($0 for most) and a Signature upgrade option. offers unlimited access during club hours and other benefits. (Note that some other Medicare fitness participants limit the number of visits per month, and we wanted our members to have access seven days a week.
A Lifetime official has explained why the policy was implemented. Lifetime outlined several factors that contributed to the decision to limit seniors’ access to gyms and health clubs under Medicare:
- The changes are the result of recent negotiations with the Medicare Fitness Program Administrators, who inform us of the price they pay on behalf of their members at each renewal.
- In turn, we have created an agreement that ensures that eligible Medicare enrollees will continue to have access to the Life Time program because of our continued commitment to healthy aging.
- Because the price paid by Medicare providers is significantly reduced, this membership also respects the fair and equitable approach and value offered relative to other members who pay for full-price memberships, while these members continue to receive access on a subsidized basis.
- The alternative would have been for the contract not to be renewed, nor for the service life to be extended. Because of Life Time’s continued commitment to healthy aging, the revised access hours were established to ensure that eligible Medicare enrollees continue to have the opportunity to join Life Time and participate in our growing ARORA program offerings.
- We believe this membership continues to reflect products, services and access that meet the interests and expectations of most Medicare members. The hours were chosen with the benefit of all members in mind.
- A Signature upgrade option is available for members looking for unlimited access to the club, which is significantly lower than the full prices paid by other members. In addition, other centers limit Medicare members to 2-4 visits, we offer an unlimited number of visits per month.
- Members over 65 years of age therefore have More optionsmembership like no one else. All memberships include unlimited visits per month. The 4 options are:
- Free medicine: There are limited opening hours
- Upgrading to Medicare Signature: (80.00 150.00 per month, depending on the club) There are no limited hours and includes access to the Beach Club and signature sessions
- Full price membership: For those not enrolled in a Life Time-approved Medicare plan. (99.00 299.00 per month, depending on the club)
- 65 and older memberFor those without a Life Time approved Medicare plan (89.00 269.00 per month depending on the club)
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