Early this year, CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) released new changes regarding Medicare and Medicaid benefits. One of the biggest and newest changes is increased flexibility in what plans are allowed to offer as “supplemental” Medicare benefits.
The Introduction of “Daily Maintenance”
Traditionally, health plans have not been allowed to include supplemental benefits that were considered “daily maintenance.” In other words, items and services that are intended for daily use were not covered. Now, however, plans are allowed to cover “daily maintenance” items that diminish the impact of injuries, physical impairments, or health conditions or help avoid emergency room utilization.
What does this mean for you? Essentially, you may now be able to find a plan that covers items such as wheelchair ramps and other home modifications. Anything that can reasonably improve your life can be included in a plan. However, realize that this does not mean that every Medicare plan will cover these items. Rather, it means that plans are now allowed to cover these items.
Transportation and Medicare Advantage
Do you have trouble getting yourself to the doctor? Thanks to modern technology and these new CMS rules, that may not be a problem for you anymore. Medicare Advantage plans are now allowed to include transportation benefits to help you get to your doctors and pharmacies. Additionally, for those who have a hard time leaving the house altogether, plans can now include meal delivery services.
Durable Medical Equipment and Medicare Advantage
Previously, it was hard to get coverage for home modifications and daily equipment. Now, items such as wheelchair ramps and medically necessary air conditioners can be included in Medicare Advantage plans. Plans can also cover more home health care to help with dressing, eating, and telehealth.
Medicare Advantage Opioid Control
Opioid misuse grows every year. CMS is now asking Medicare plans to help control the issue. That means that you will likely not be able to buy more than a seven-day supply of opioids. They are also cracking down on people who try to “cheat the system” by going to multiple pharmacies and doctors to get multiple doses. With new technology and new laws, pharmacists and doctors will be alerted when you people try to buy too many opioids.
Take Advantage of New Medicare Benefits
Now that plans are allowed to cover all these new items, it only makes sense that you take advantage of this year’s AEP, or Annual Enrollment Period. From October 15 through December 7, you’ll be allowed to switch plans or enroll in Medicare Advantage for the first time. Our agents may be able to help you find a plan with added transportation benefits, telehealth, and equipment coverage. To set up your free appointment, click here or call 833-438-3676.