Medicare Advantage Supplemental BenefitsMarch 15, 2019
Did you know Medicare Advantage plans have tripled in enrollment since 2003? This means more than one-third of beneficiaries are enrolled in an MA plan in 2019! The increase in enrollment has lead to new benefits like telehealth, non-emergency transportation, and gym memberships like SilverSneakers®. Research shows that the top three Medicare Advantage supplemental benefits that cause beneficiaries to switch to an MA plan are vision coverage, OTC allowances, and healthy behavior rewards.
Medicare Vision Coverage
Nearly 90% of people over the age of 65 wear glasses. Plus, one in three older adults suffers from some form of vision-reducting eye disease like glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, or diabetic retinopathy. Fortunately, Medicare Advantage plans may include vision coverage and help you cut back on out-of-pocket costs.
What eye care does Medicare cover?
Generally, Medicare does not cover eye exams or glasses. This means that if you are only enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and B) you will have to pay 100% of your costs, including the fees to have your frames fitted. However, if you had cataract surgery to insert an intraocular lens, Medicare Part B may pay for corrective lenses. This can include a pair of glasses or contacts, but you must get them through a Medicare supplier.
Medicare will cover the corrective lenses even if you had the cataract surgery before enrolling in Medicare. Plus, both lenses may be covered if you only had cataract surgery on one eye. If your situation applies, you will pay 20% of the Medicare-approved costs after reaching your Part B deductible. If you want upgraded frames, you will be required to cover the additional cost.
Are you looking for more coverage? Medicare Advantage plans can add additional benefits like routine eye checkups, eye exams, glasses, and contacts. To learn more about how to get vision coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan, click here.
Medicare OTC Pharmacy Allowance
The average American makes 26 trips per year to buy over-the-counter (OTC) products. What if we told you that some of the expenses from these trips could be covered? Well, great news! Some Medicare Advantage plans offer a monthly OTC pharmacy allowance.
What is a Medicare Advantage OTC card?
A Medicare Advantage OTC card can be used to purchase most OTC products and medications. The average allowance is $50-$100/month for most providers. Once you exceed this balance, your card is no longer valid until it is reloaded the next month. If you do not spend the monthly balance in its entirety, you may lose any remaining allowance.
Eligible products and medications may vary through your plan provider, but common eligible items include acne aids, cough, cold, and flu medications, antibiotic creams, denture products, bandages, digestive aids, ear care, first-aid kits, orthopedic support, sleep aids, and wart removal. However, chapstick, soaps, deodorant, dietary supplements, mouthwash, perfume, and teeth whitening products are generally not covered.
To learn more about how to get OTC pharmacy allowance through a Medicare Advantage plan, click here.
Healthy Behavior Rewards
Original Medicare does not incentivize healthy behavior, but some Medicare Advantage plans will! Research shows that 93% of people will change their behavior if they are rewarded. This is a win-win for everyone involved.
Healthy behaviors can include utilizing your annual wellness visit, losing weight, and smoking cessation. Incentives can include sweepstakes or direct rewards like gift cards and discount coupons. Some plans may utilize a “point” system that can be claimed at a later date for rewards.
Get Medicare Advantage Supplemental Benefits
Vision coverage, OTC allowances, and healthy behavior rewards are just a few of several Medicare Advantage supplemental benefits. Are you interested in joining the 20.4 million beneficiaries who are enrolled in MA? Our agents can contract with nearly every carrier in your state! This means that you can enroll in the MA plan that best fits your needs and budget. Call us at 833-438-3676 or fill out this form to arrange a no-cost, no-obligation appointment with an agent in your area.