Preparation for 2020: Implementing Supplemental Benefits Into Your Plan

Medicare benefits should not be a one-size-fits-all approach and now 1/3rd of the 61 million people who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan[1] have the option to shop around for the “perfect fit”. MA has long offered extra benefits in addition to those covered by traditional Medicare. Known as supplemental benefits, these services have commonly included dental, vision, and hearing coverage. Now, MA plans have new flexibility to offer more supplemental benefits – a consequence of the CMS Rule expanding supplemental benefits for Medicare beneficiaries. The new expanded benefits include in-home care, caregiver support, transportation, and meal delivery to name a few.

As the healthcare industry’s focus shifts increasingly to population health, barriers such as transportation and food and housing insecurity are entering the equation of what it means to be and remain healthy. A recent report[2] states that more than half of MA beneficiaries surveyed want their plans to cover assistance at home. However, according to AARP[3], in 2019, only 13% of MA plans will be offering in-home support services such as respite care, 3% will offer personal care and housekeeping, and a mere 1% will cover palliative care. MA plans should carefully plan their strategy and determine the best business partners as they prepare an attractive benefits package for 2020.

Our panel of experts discussed recent industry reports and surveys and best practices on how MA plans can move from offering the minimum to a robust benefit package (attractive to the 20 million+ MA enrollees).

Webinar attendees learned about:

  • Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and how it’s affecting MA plans for 2020
  • Strategies on how plans can easily implement supplemental benefits into their offerings
  • Key points on determining the best partners for outsourcing home health and care coordination
  • The next generation of home-based care and how it will fit into the supplemental benefits model
  • Social determinants of health and how the expanded definition addresses it
  • Research findings/insights from MA participants on what they value in a plan
References
  1. Medicare Advantage Plans Cleared to Go Beyond Medical Coverage – Even Groceries
  2. Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries Eagerly Await New In-home Benefits
  3. Supplemental Benefits in Medicare Advantage: What’s Changing in 2019 and What’s Not