What’s next? Manicures and pedicures? In yet another reminder that this is not your grandmother’s insurance plan, take a look at Medicare Advantage (MA) plan offerings for 2023.
A brief sampling: UnitedHealthcare is providing new home support services on select Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs). This $150-$225 quarterly credit can go toward companion care, light cleaning, home modifications, yard maintenance and pest control, to name a few. All MA members can receive in-home health and wellness checkups at no cost.
Humana, meanwhile, will allow members enrolled in D-SNPs and those with chronic medical conditions to spend up to $3,000 annually on supplemental benefits they need most, such as home supplies, nonmedical transport and other services.
Other MA plans also have enticing benefits. Aetna, a division of CVS, is offering qualifying members fresh fruits and vegetables delivered on a regular basis, as well as home-delivered meals following inpatient hospital stays. And Cigna will pair seniors combating loneliness with partners to help them with activities of daily living.
Of course, these benefits should not surprise anyone who follows the industry. MA plans have an intense interest in home care, as judged by UnitedHealthcare’s planned acquisition of LHC Group, CVS’ purchase of Signify Health and Humana’s ownership of Kindred at Home.
But the benefits for 2023 present an interesting array of sweeteners. This actually follows MA plans’ current thinking and strategy, according to Andy Friedell, CEO of convener healthAlign. In a must-listen-to podcast with Staff Writer Diane Eastabrook, he talked about how plans are giving members an amount of value and letting members decide how to allocate that value.
“I think you’re seeing a little disruption taking place right now in this space as a result of the way MA plans are structuring some of these benefits,” he said in the podcast.
This marks a change from the past when plans would look at members’ traditional home care needs, he explained. These plans now seem to be willing to do whatever it takes to keep people at home.
So what does this mean for a traditional home care provider? Consider partnerships that contribute to seniors’ ability to be healthy in the home.
That might very well mean forging alliances with nail bars that do house calls.
Liza Berger is editor of McKnight’s Home Care. Email her at [email protected].