Gym and fitness center memberships are more and more commonly being covered by employee benefits. Lots of employees sponsor health fairs and weekly fitness classes at their offices. Lunch and learns, which teach employees about different healthy living topics, are monthly occurrences at many offices. All of these health and fitness benefits provided by employers are great for creating healthy employees.
However what happens when an employee has high blood pressure, off the charts cholesterol or is overweight and weekly group classes at the office aren’t enough? Many of you probably answered that they’re doctor prescribes them a pill to lower their blood pressure or cholesterol, or that they will be sent to a nutritionist to help them eat better. Some doctors however are taking a novel approach which is now being covered by some insurance companies, prescribing a personal trainer.
While still a very new concept and only covered by a few insurance companies personal training as a cure to common health problems is an up and coming prescription. In Chicago doctors are prescribing a nine-week class that comes with a two month membership and access to a personal trainer at the Swedish Covenant Hospital’s Galter LifeCenter. Galter LifeCenter is a medical fitness center, a growing fitness concept that treats fitness and personal training as a way to prevent and treat chronic illnesses.
Facilities such as these are often connected to hospitals making it easy for patients in the hospital to go from hospital treatment to medical fitness center treatment. Prescriptions for personal trainers are still slow in being covered by insurance companies but facilities such as the Galter LifeCenter are providing examples to make it more common. Keep in mind however that prescription personal trainers are not for those of us looking to lose a few extra pounds. Prescription personal training is for people with true medical problems that can be treated through exercise.
Contact your insurance company for information about exercise and personal training coverage on your plan.