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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Monday, April 23, 2018

Medicare Advantage Plans to Expand

A recent announcement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced broader definitions of what it describes as “primary health-related benefits” related to Medicare Advantage policies, and that may be good news for seniors.

As a result of these broader definitions insurers would likely start to include these additional benefits beginning in 2019. And with 20 million of the nation’s 61 million people enrolled in Medicare, this change could have significant impact.

A number of Medicare Advantage programs already offer coverage for eyeglasses, hearing aids, dental care and even gym memberships.  The new broader definition will enable the programs to include care and equipment that prevent or treat illness or injuries, compensate for physical impairments, address the psychological effects of illness or injuries, or reduce emergency medical care. 

Insurers are studying the new definition but there are early indications that the coverage could include transportation to doctors’ offices, better food options and even modifications in beneficiaries’ homes, such as installing grab bars in the bathroom, or aides to help with daily activities, including dressing, eating and other personal care needs.

CMS has indicated that for beneficiaries to receive the additional coverage it must be medically appropriate and recommended by a licensed health care provider.



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