10 Things Medicare Advantage Plans May Cover that Original Medicare Doesn’t
The dawning of 2020 brings with it good news for Medicare Advantage policyholders. Your Medicare Advantage plan may offer one of many add-on benefits the U.S. government is allowing insurance companies to provide.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is making improvements to Medicare Advantage by decreasing premiums, providing more options, and tailoring benefits to meet your needs.
Some of these tailored policies include health-related benefits like vision, hearing, and dental, as well as non-health related ones such as home modifications, meals, and transportation.
There are ten main categories for these add-on benefits. Coverage for each will vary depending on your region and county, and the plan and provider you choose.
10 Things Medicare Advantage Plans May Cover
Medicare Advantage plans are offering coverage for many extra benefits that were not available before 2019.
In a CMS article, Health and Human Services secretary, Alex Azar explains, “President Trump has promised American patients a system with affordable, personalized healthcare, a system that puts you in control, provides peace of mind, and treats you like a human being, not a number.”
Through Trump’s administration, government insurance funds provide coverage for health related issues as well as coverage that supports a good quality of life.
In addition to preventative and diagnostic services and treatments covered under Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans may cover routine eye exams, eyeglasses, contact lenses, and fittings for glasses and contacts. Taking care of your eyes is essential, and it’s nice to know you might be able to find vision coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans may cover some or all of the costs for services, exams, and hearing aids. If you have ever priced hearing aids, you will understand what a big help this could be.
Dental coverage is pretty limited under Original Medicare. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer incentives, partial, or even full coverage for routine, preventative, and restorative dental procedures, making it easier to take care of your teeth and maybe get some needed dental work done.
While fitness isn’t addressed in Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage brings it to the forefront. Many plans address good health and exercise through the SilverSneakers program, other gym memberships, fitness classes, and fitness apps. Check your policy and your local gyms to see about getting fit.
5. Nutrition and Meals
Some Medicare Advantage plans offer health and well-being benefits which could include nutritional counseling, grocery store cards, and in-home grocery or meal delivery. If your diet is lacking, or it’s hard for you to get to the store, this is a valuable benefit.
6. Prescription and Over the Counter Drugs
Most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage, and many now include over-the-counter drugs as well. Sometimes, an over-the-counter pain reliever or cough suppressant is all you need to treat the symptoms of an illness. Wouldn’t it be nice to have these items covered just like prescription drugs?
Starting with the 2020 plan year, Medicare Advantage will offer telehealth services as part of their basic benefits package. This benefit allows you to receive healthcare services from the comfort of your home through your phone, cell phone, computer, or monitoring equipment.
Sometimes, getting to a doctor’s appointment is difficult. Whether you don’t feel up to driving, aren’t able to drive, or the weather is terrible, having transportation you can depend upon is essential. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer non-emergency transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, giving you peace of mind.
9. Acupuncture and Chiropractic Services
Original Medicare doesn’t typically offer coverage for holistic medical services, but Medicare Advantage might. A chiropractor or acupuncturist provides pain management, smoking cessation, or migraine relief, among other services. These benefits could be covered by your MA plan.
10. In-Home Support Services and Home Modifications
This category of add-on coverage offers a wide range of benefits including, companion care, in-home personal care, cleaning services, carpet cleaning, and home modifications, to mention a few. Having benefits that allow someone to clean your home or update the shower so you can get in and out safely is a good reason to look for the perfect Medicare Advantage policy.
Why are these Medicare Advantage Add-On Benefits Important?
According to CMS, Medicare Advantage premiums in 2020 have declined around 23 percent from 2018, while plan choices, benefits, and enrollment continue to increase.
Medicare Advantage is rapidly becoming an attractive alternative to Original Medicare. With the full range of add-on benefits the government is now allowing private insurers to offer, you can choose a plan that is seemingly tailor-made for you.
We listed ten areas in which Medicare Advantage plans are offering added benefits, but it is important to understand that these are just a few. The list is expansive and even includes areas such as:
- Service dog support
- Air conditioning
- Pest control
- Cooking classes
Choosing a Medicare Advantage plan could be a smart move, especially if you shop around and compare what different plans and providers have to offer. Look for specifics that are important to you and your situation.
Our team of dedicated, licensed agents can help you as little or as much as you need. Whether it’s answering a few questions about Medicare Advantage or helping you find the plan that meets your needs, we are your Medicare Allies.
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Our team of dedicated, licensed agents can help you as little or as much as you need. Whether it’s answering a few questions about Medicare or creating a comprehensive Medicare Planner with you, we are your Medicare Allies.