Medicare Advantages Benefits Expanding Again In 2020
An For the second year in a row, Medicare Advantages (MA) plans will increase their benefits, including expanded home meal deliveries, transportation and even some housecleaning. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) administrators made the announcement a few weeks ago.
Under the new policies, MA plans in 2020 will cover a broad range of supplemental benefits that aren’t typically considered health needs. Instead, the focus is to provide seniors with additional benefits that improve or maintain their health or overall good function.
Last year, in 2019, MA plans were given the authority to cover such items as shower grips, wheelchair ramps and other modifications to the homes of beneficiaries who needed them. This, because they had fallen or had other mobility issues. Of course, these added benefits have to be medically related.
Medicare Advantages: The 2020 Added Benefits
Medicare Advantages plans are private insurance plans that Medicare beneficiaries can choose instead of the original Medicare. The main differences between MA and original Medicare are that MA plans have networks of doctors that subscribers must use.
Consequently, this one-stop shopping plan covers hospital care, doctor visits, prescription drugs and other services Medicare doesn’t cover. Indeed, this includes dental, vision and hearing.
Authorization of the new benefits was only given to the MA program at this time. Congress may possibly extend these new benefits to the original Medicare sometime in the future.
Beneficiaries will be able to sign up for plans that offer these new benefits during this fall’s open enrollment. As a result, CMS will notify subscribers which MA plans are offering any of the new services.
It’s too early to know whether MA plans that offer these extra services will charge higher premiums — as the new MA plan rates will be made this Fall.