By Bailey Bryant | October 1, 2019
From national plans such as Humana and Cigna to smaller regional ones like SCAN Health Plan, a large number of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are set to expand their home- and community-based supplemental benefit offerings in 2020.
While details remain somewhat sparse, plans officially began announcing their 2020 offerings Monday, ahead of the upcoming annual election period, which runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7.
The news is in line with projections the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released last month. Specifically, the Trump administration estimated that about 250 plans would offer newly allowed non-health related benefits in 2020, reaching about 1.2 million beneficiaries total.
Those benefits, which will be allowed for the first time next year, can include anything that has a reasonable expectation of improving or maintaining the health or overall function of MA beneficiaries with chronic conditions — from carpet shampooing and pest control to ride-hailing and beyond.
On top of that, CMS projected 500 plans will offer supplemental benefits designed to help another 2.6 million beneficiaries maintain their health. While these flexibilities to cover non-medical benefits — such as home care — were first allowed in 2019, only 3% of plans offered such benefits during their inaugural year, according to AARP.
But now, hundreds of MA plans are set to take advantage of their freedoms to address social determinants of health and keep beneficiaries in the home.
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