Health Plan Differentiation: The Big Disruptor in Senior Fitness

Baby Boomers are often credited with initiating a fitness change in the 70s-’80s, embracing regular exercise, running, joining health clubs, and following home aerobics videos. As older people prioritize their retirement health, especially for Boomers between the ages of 57 and 75, health systems have the opportunity to offer a modern, holistic approach to fitness benefits.

With about 72 million powerful, Boomers understand the importance of resilience. Today, however, more than a third of people who go to the gym are under the age of 55, according to data from the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. In addition, about one-third of Boomers now work out in a gym, according to a study by JAMA Internal Medicine.

These statistics point to a problem, considering that exercise is well established in scientific literature as one of the most important steps that adults can take to properly age and manage or prevent health problems. Sample findings:

The Centers for Disease Control recommends increasing activity to prevent, delay, manage and / or reduce the severity of chronic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis.
Older adults who engage in physical activity and shorter resting time have better physical and mental health, according to a study by the American Cancer Society.
Members of this regular exercise group show an increase in working skills, a decrease in the risk of falls, an improvement in mood and motivation, and a decrease in anxiety and depression.

Retirement not only reduces the quality of life of the elderly but also significantly increases the cost of health care. In the U.S., unemployed seniors face an average of more than $ 1,437 more than the cost of health care each year than their most active peers. As Boomers retire – many without enough money – payers who want to help the group reduce the cost of health care while enjoying their golden years should focus on boosting physical activity.

So how is it possible that Medicare Advantage and Supplemental programs come out of pocket and encourage Boomers to rekindle their love of exercise? The key is to provide differentiated member programs that promote physical fitness while in line with demographic perceptions: quantitative, social and eager to try new things.

Expand options

To benefit fully from exercise, the National Institute on Aging recommends that older persons participate in four types of exercise: cardiovascular activities such as cycling, brisk walking or dancing; strength training with steel or resistance belts; balance exercises to prevent falls; and flexibility to stay on top.

The good news for both health systems and the elderly is that there have never been so many options to find special gyms that meet the needs and interests of each individual. From yoga, cycling, and Pilates, to high-intensity training (HIIT), the possibilities are endless- and the small size of the boutique gyms offer extended education, easy spaces, and a close-knit environment that can eliminate the threat of trying something new.

As a result, health programs that seek to increase adult exercise should provide opportunities for members to try a variety of classes, including dance, strength, spine, cycling, as well as rest, balance, and flexibility of activities in many clubs and gyms. . Bonus points go to programs that offer access to new activities such as pickleball – which includes tennis, badminton, and Ping-Pong – or classes on a unified rowing machine, and make sure caregivers get access again.

It is important for health systems to regularly monitor and refine in-network delivery. Also, encourage members to choose non-networked studios and gyms right now and make sure they get quick responses.

Take Across the Gym

Boomers have embraced the trend of digital demand, live fitness classes, and tight-fitting devices, joining Millennials in counting their steps and expanding their work outside the gym, especially in the digital space. In fact, some studies indicate that wearing a workout tracker helps older women to work harder. Forward-thinking payers should offer discounted digital classes on demand and live fitness classes that offer guided exercise, sleep tracking, meditation and other tools to help adults achieve their fitness goals.

Similarly, health systems should increase their definition of the word “resilience” to include mood or training. New research suggests that Baby Boomers experience a faster decline in understanding than people of the previous generation. And because so many members of this generation have watched their parents or other loved ones suffer from dementia, maintaining brain health is a major concern. Consider offering online brain health training programs that offer tests and recommendations for your own brain health program with clinically certified exercise that focus on attention, speed use, and more.

Make it Social — and easy to use

Lastly, health programs that are committed to improving the resilience of the elderly should provide an easy-to-use platform that provides part of the community. Even before the COVID-19 epidemic suddenly ended in human entertainment, American adults were already plagued by loneliness.

At the same time, growing research shows that chronic loneliness can be far more harmful to our health than obesity. A study in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that older patients with heart failure reported higher levels of social isolation with greater risk of hospitalization, ER visits, and premature death than those who did not.

Wellness programs that offer online platforms allow members to access information about managing their lives and provide access to social communities – both residential and social – where adults can work with peers and build meaningful bonds in the hea