It’s fun to play at the…
Did you know you can receive free membership with your Medicaid card at many YMCA’s?
After almost two decades of wistfully looking at the fabulous YMCAs in our community we recently discovered that our daughters are able to enjoy free membership using their Medicaid cards. Additionally, because they are physically disabled and not able to attend independently they are permitted to have their personal care assistant join them with no added cost. This is great news because we can provide them with activities without having to use money we budgeted for other things! While each club is unique there are many things to explore within the exercise rooms and, our personal favorite, the pool, all with their free membership!
There is something for every ability.
As we unloaded and headed into our local “Y” I felt a bit anxious that people would give us those long looks of curiosity about our attending a gym with two in power wheelchairs. Instead we were given a warm greeting! Our attention was quickly directed to both the pool area and exercise equipment propelled by hands and arm strength. The friendly atmosphere is sure to be a hit with our girls and others who are looking for some personal interaction and new surroundings outside of the house.
EasyPeasy sign up Process!
The process could not have been any simpler. We went to the information desk and explained that the girls have Medicaid insurance cards and would like to join the YMCA. I handed over their cards and they placed a phone call to verify their current insurance. Then we were given forms to fill out, photos were taken, and ID cards were quickly printed and handed over. VOILA! I am grateful to have a couple friends who took them to the YMCA pools in the past for swimming. My regret is that we used their guest passes needlessly to get them in the doors! (Wouldn’t it be fabulous if the employees at participating YMCAs were able to alert families with disabilities to the possibility of free membership when they checked-in in other ways?)
One additional perk…
Our YMCA is very inclusional and community focused, my guess is yours is too! One of the jobs that our girls are trying out as part of their vocational training through the school is greeting and checking membership at the YMCA. It was so nice to know that as they headed off with a touch of nerves to try a new volunteer job that it wasn’t a new space but rather an environment they were already welcomed into!
I would love to hear of ways that other families are utilizing their local YMCA:
What programs do you use? Favorite equipment? Are there other unique volunteer jobs that fit your needs?