A new data brief finds that in 2021 more and more Medicare Advantage (MA) plans will offer supplemental benefits like adult day care services, home-based palliative care, in-home support services, and career support.
The analysis, commissioned by Better Medicare Alliance (BMA) and prepared by the actuarial consulting firm Milliman, highlights the continued expansion of supplemental benefits in Medicare Advantage for Contract Year 2021.
Indeed, the report finds that under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) reinterpretation of “primarily health-related” benefits in 2018 and 2019, supplemental benefits like adult day care services, home-based palliative care, in-home support services, and support for caregivers of enrollees, increased again for 2021. Except for therapeutic massage, all of these benefits have increased in plan prevalence each year.
Overall, the number of MA plans offering at least one of the five recently expanded supplement benefits jumped 64 percent (351 to 575) from 2020 to 2021, while the number of plans offering more than one benefit increased 82 percent (96 to 175).
“Not even a global pandemic could disrupt the positive trend of expanded supplemental benefit offerings in Medicare Advantage, as plans find new ways to care for the whole person and address social determinants of health,” Allyson Y. Schwartz, president and CEO of BMA, said in an announcement. “With the uptake of these benefits expanding yet again–an increase of 64 percent year over year–it’s clear that CMS’s flexibilities have met a need and Medicare Advantage plans are responding with innovations in benefits and care delivery.”