The actuarial consulting firm findings indicate that 5,311 of 5,312 Medicare Advantage (MA) plans (99.9 percent) will offer supplemental benefits unavailable in fee-for-service Medicare for 2022. The most common benefits include vision, hearing, fitness, and dental care.
A new study, conducted by Milliman and commissioned by the Better Medicare Alliance, finds that the number of MA health plans offering supplemental benefits continued to grow in 2022. Indeed, only one of the 5,312 MA plans isn’t offering supplemental benefits this year.
Here are six findings from the report:
- From 2021 to 2022, the number of MA plans offering supplemental benefits grew in 35 out of 41 categories measured
- The most common benefits offered in MA include vision (offered by 97 percent of plans), hearing (94 percent), fitness (94 percent), and dental care (91 percent)
- Eighty-four percent of plans offer over-the-counter benefits, while 69 percent provide a meal benefit and 50 percent include transportation benefits
- Overall, the number of MA plans offering Special Supplemental Benefits for the Chronically Ill (SSBCI) benefits jumped 38 percent from 2021 to 2022 (815 plans to 1,127)
- Food, produce, and meals (beyond a limited basis) were the most widely offered SSBCI benefits, reaching eligible chronically ill beneficiaries in plans with more than 2.9 million and 1.9 million total beneficiaries, respectively
- Beneficiaries with diabetes were the most targeted population for these extra benefits, followed by congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
“As this analysis shows, Medicare Advantage continues to raise the bar in supplemental benefits offered to seniors. In fact, 99.9 percent of Medicare Advantage plans offer one or more of these supplemental benefits for 2022, as benefits like vision, hearing, fitness, and dental coverage become nearly universal across Medicare Advantage plans,” Mary Beth Donahue, president and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance, said in the study announcement.
Furthermore, she said, the analysis shows continued growth in benefits like over-the-counter coverage, remote access technologies, and meals that are helping seniors weather the COVID-19 pandemic. “With SSBCI benefits increasing 38 percent and health plans providing everything from prescription pickup, to service dog support, to structural home modifications, Medicare Advantage’s value to beneficiaries has never been clearer,” Donahue said.
Click here to read the full issue brief.