Produce delivery to a senior at home

Medicare Advantage’s expansion into the home continued on Monday with Cigna and Aetna both announcing enhanced in-home benefits to their 2023 plans.

Beginning next year, Nashville-based Cigna will offer a caregiver support program in select markets. The program will provide resources and assistance for issues that affect caregivers, such as stress management and support. MA enrollees will also get help combating loneliness through a program that will pair them with partners who can help with activities of daily living or keep them company. That program was introduced last year but will be more broadly available in 2023.

Cigna is also expanding into New York and Kentucky next year, bringing the total number of states it operates in to just under 30. 

Meanwhile, Aetna, a division of CVS Health, announced  Monday that qualifying members of some MA plans will receive produce boxes containing fresh fruits and vegetables delivered to their homes biweekly, monthly or quarterly. The company is also offering home-delivered meals following an inpatient hospital stay in 85% of its MA plans in 2023. That offering follows the Biden administration’s announcement last week that it would push for legislation that would include the coverage of medically tailored meals under traditional fee-for-service Medicare plans. 

Like Cigna, Aetna will also offer a resource program for members that addresses loneliness and other social determinants of health, including caregiver support. It also is offering an annual healthy home visit which includes physical exams and safety assessments of members’ homes. 

UnitedHealthcare and Humana — the nation’s largest MA plans by enrollment —  both announced enhancements to their MA plans for 2023 over the weekend. 

A growing number of seniors have been opting for MA plans over traditional Medicare plans because they tend to be less expensive than traditional Medicare fee-for-service plans and include a number of nonmedical supplemental benefits, such as home care. Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported that MA plans accounted for 46% of the beneficiary market through the first six months of 2022.

Medicare-eligible older adults can begin signing up for 2023 plans during Medicare’s open enrollment program which runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7.