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Medicare Advantage Supplemental Benefits

By  Senior Market Advisors  on March 11, 2019

It’s no secret that Medicare Advantage plans are increasing in popularity each year. In fact, more than 20.4 million beneficiaries are enrolled in an MA plan for 2019. Benefits like telehealth, non-emergency transportation, and gym memberships are great selling points to get a beneficiary to enroll, but what causes a beneficiary to switch to a different MA plan? Research shows the top contributing Medicare Advantage supplemental benefits are vision coverage, OTC allowances, and healthy behavior rewards.

Vision Coverage

The largest benefit that encourages beneficiaries to switch to an MA plan is vision coverage. Nearly one in three older adults over the age of 65 suffer from some form of vision-reducing eye disease. Generally, Medicare does not cover eye exams or glasses. This means that if beneficiaries are only enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and B) they will have to pay 100% of their costs, including the fees to have the frames fitted. However, if they had cataract surgery to insert an intraocular lens, Medicare Part B may pay for corrective lenses. This can include a pair of glasses or contact lens, but beneficiaries must get them through a Medicare supplier.

Routine eye exams, also known as refraction tests, are not covered by Medicare. However, if a beneficiary has diabetes, their eye exam may be covered. Glaucoma tests and macular degeneration tests are often covered too.  Medicare Advantage plans can add vision benefits like routine eye checkups, eye exams, glasses, and contacts.

Medicare OTC Pharmacy Allowance

The second largest benefit beneficiaries look for when switching is monthly over-the-counter allowances. Original Medicare (Parts A and B) does not cover over-the-counter products and medications. Some stand-alone Part D plans may cover the costs, but generally, a Medicare Advantage plan is the best option if this type of drug coverage is important to a beneficiary.

Pre-paid cards can be used to purchase most OTC products and medications. Once beneficiaries exceed their allowance (average of $50-$100/month for most providers), the card is no longer valid until it is reloaded by the insurance provider. Most plans reload the cards to the set amount on a monthly basis and any previous balance will be lost.

Healthy Behavior Rewards

The third largest benefit that encourages a beneficiary to switch plans is healthy behavior rewards. Original Medicare does not compensate beneficiaries for practicing healthy behavior, but some Medicare Advantage plans do! Research shows that 93% of people will change their behavior is they are rewarded. This is a win for consumers, health providers, carriers, and agents, like you. Healthy behavior rewards will vary by plan and provider.

Sell Medicare Advantage Supplemental Benefits

At Senior Market Advisors, we make sure our agents are equipped with all the necessary tools and information to enroll beneficiaries in the best possible plan. We offer a lead management system, online sales training, custom quote engine, and top tier commissions. Plus, we contract will all the major carriers in your state! Ready to start contracting? Fill out this form or give us a call at 844-452-5020.