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There are many valuable benefits now included with Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans. We refer to them as free benefits because many are indeed provided at no cost.
This webpage provides information regarding some of the lesser-known benefits.
While television ads make it seem like these benefits are available to all, the Association’s research finds that they can be rather limited.
You likely have between 30 and 50 different Medicare Advantage plans (depending on where you live). Picking the best one can be a daunting task.
Calling the toll-free numbers advertised on tv will connect you with an agent. He or she may have some incentive to direct you towards one or two plans.
Consider using the Association’s FIND A LOCAL MEDICARE AGENT online directory. Simply enter your Zip Code and you will see a listing of agents in your area. There is NO other personal data to enter (or collected).
Agents get to post whether they offer all Medicare options (Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement and drug plans). Pick the agent or agents you would like to hear from.
The following are examples of non-medical benefits that are being included with Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. We give a description and data on the number of plans offering these benefits.
Note: There are roughly 3,500 Medicare Advantage plans nationally. (2021 Medicare Advantage statistics).
These are defined as Medicare Advantage in-home support services to assist individuals with disabilities and/or medical conditions. The services will help in performing ADLs and IADLs within the home (walking, eating, bathing). Services must be provided by individuals licensed by the state to provide personal care services. The number of hours are generally limited.
Available in 36 states and Puerto Rico.
2021: 429 MA plans
2020: 223 MA plans
Meals may be offered to chronically MA plan ill enrollees. Meals may be home-delivered and/or offered in a group setting basis.
Available in 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.
2021: 387 MA plans
2020: 71 MA plans
Food and produce to assist chronically ill MA plan enrollees in meeting nutritional needs. Plans may include items such as fresh produce, frozen foods, and canned goods. Tobacco and alcohol are not permitted.
Available in 39 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.
2021: 347 MA plans
2020: 101 MA plans
Defined as transportation to obtain non-medical items and services. This can include transportation for food (grocery shopping), banking, and transportation related to any other SSBCI, is a non- primarily health-related benefit.
Available in 27 states and Puerto Rico.
2021: 177 MA plans
2020: 88 MA plans
This can include pest eradication services deemed vital to ensure the health, welfare, and safety of a chronically ill MA plan enrollee. Services may include pest control treatment(s) or products that may assist the enrollee in the pest eradication. These include traps, pest control sprays, and cleaning supplies.
Available in 28 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.
2021: 208 MA plans
2020: 118 MA plans
There are so many people with pain and opioid issues. MA plans can now provide medically approved non-opioid pain treatment alternatives. These include therapeutic massages furnished by a state licensed massage therapist. They must be ordered by a physician or medical professional in order to be considered primarily health related and not primarily for the comfort or relaxation of the enrollee
Available in 23 states and Puerto Rico.
2021: 176 MA plans
2020: 230 MA plans
The coverage may include structural modifications to the home. These benefits may assist someone who is chronically ill. The goal is dealing with the enrollee’s overall function, health, or mobility. Examples can include widening of hallways or doorways, installing permanent mobility ramps, easy-to-use doorknobs and faucets.
Available in 1 state (Pennsylvania).
2021: 42 MA plans
2020: 44 MA plans