Fitness Benefits for Health Insurance

One of the big perks about having health insurance in the U.S. is it frequently comes with fitness benefits. This is a great way to defray a bit of the cost of working out and can also make you a bit adventurous. Why not try something new if it’s already “paid” for?

Here are some guidelines for the reimbursements as well as how you can get your HMO or insurance company to cover your workouts all the time (if you truly need it for medical purposes).

One caveat: fitness benefits can vary greatly by company and by the type of plan you have.  Read over exactlywhat YOU have and feel free to call a customer service rep to get the details.

Fitness Benefits That Qualify

Fitness benefits can run the gamut of a medically-guided yoga class at a hospital to a Zumba session at a local health club … from CrossFit Boxes for your home to even a therapeutic massage for your aches and pains. There is usually a wide array of choices that will qualify. To get the benefit, you’ll need to have a receipt and you’ll need to complete the paperwork properly when you submit.

If you’re not sure what to try, I recommend a personal training session or two. A good trainer can give you a home workout routine that you can try out for a while, and if you get bored with it, you can go back for a tune-up and new challenges. Another good benefit to try is a group exercise class card. You can often buy a “10 pack” of workouts from, say, a yoga studio or a boxing club. This is a great way to get a lot of bang for your buck and you could wind up with 10 or 15 workouts that your health insurance pays for. How cool is that?

Fitness Benefits For Medical Reasons

In my Pilates studio, we often get referrals from physical therapists. A patient may have some sort of joint issue or a cranky back and their physical therapy prescription has run out, but the person is still not 100%.  In many cases a fitness facility can take over and help the person in their recovery with the HMO paying for it.

Ask your doctor if she’ll write you a prescription for your workouts (our clients literally get a prescription for Pilates), and submit it to the HMO to see if they’ll reimburse you. Often they’ll pay for a handful of sessions or they’ll pay a percentage on an ongoing basis.  This has been a godsend for some of our clients; one is on the waiting list for a lung transplant, and one has multiple sclerosis and needs a workout that doesn’t overheat her. There are so many reasons that are medically necessary to workout.  Check with your provider to see if you qualify.

Have you used your fitness benefits for the year yet?  What did you use it on?  Maybe you’re bored and it’s time to break up with your workout.