CMS is passing regulations that will allow Medicare Advantage plans to offer more unique benefits. The goal is to make it easier for seniors to keep living at home. CMS administrator Seema Verma said, “Medicare Advantage beneficiaries will have more supplemental benefits, making it easier for them to lead healthier, more independent lives.”
Even without any expansion, Medicare Advantage has been steadily growing in popularity over the past few years. It’s the most logical option for beneficiaries with chronic illnesses and disabilities because MA plans typically cover much more hospital costs and ancillary services than Original Medicare. Plus, beneficiaries need the prescription drug coverage that MA provides.
This year, 87% of Medicare beneficiaries have access to at least one Medicare Advantage plan. A total of 33% of all Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, and studies suggest that the number will continue to rise.
Though insurers have not yet released their 2019 benefits, some companies have hinted at what they may add now that CMS allows it.
Keeping up with modern technology and the popularity of ridesharing services, some Medicare Advantage plans may start to include more transportation options to help seniors get to and from doctor’s appointments. They may also begin including meal delivery services for those who have a hard time shopping for groceries or cooking for themselves.
New Durable Medical Equipment laws will also allow Medicare Advantage plans to allow home modifications, like wheelchair ramps for homes with stairs or air conditioners for those with asthma. Plans will also likely allow for more home health care to help with dressing, eating, etc, as well as more access to telehealth for those who have trouble accessing doctors.
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