Could Food Soon Be a Part of Your Medicare Benefits?

medicare, food insecurity, meal benefit, medicare advantage

Healthcare plans have been focusing on healthy food as a health benefit. Some plans are covering temporary meal deliveries, while others are teaching people how to prepare healthier meals.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity has become a larger problem in the U.S. A healthy diet is a great determinant of health and avoiding hospitalizations. Eating a healthy diet can improve blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and immunity. Here are some examples of Medicare plans that are offering food benefits:

  • Next year, Medicare will test meal program vouchers for patients with malnutrition.
  • Last year, several Medicare Advantage plans (covering nearly 7 million people) offered a meal benefit, such as home-delivered meals after a hospital stay or helping patients with diabetes eat a balanced diet.
  • Medicare Advantage provider Oscar Health offered temporary local grocery delivery during the pandemic.
  • Humana’s Medicare Advantage branch gave low-income beneficiaries $25 or $50 debit cards to buy healthy food. They are also testing meal deliveries in the second half of each month.
  • Anthem Medicare Advantage connects beneficiaries with nutritionists to help them develop a meal plan that can get them off medications and on the right track to health.
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