The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is attempting to be forward thinking, especially as it pertains to elderly men and women and the care and support they may require in the future. That is why Medicare Advantage insurance plans will be providing seniors an option to get extra services if they require help with basic chores or even to give a primary family caregiver a break for a while.
As more medical professionals and insurance companies understand the value that practical assistance and support can provide to not just seniors, but their primary family caregivers, they are taking a vested interest in providing these opportunities for seniors to have greater access to home care support services.
The goal with this new Medicare Advantage plan is to help aging men and women who may require the kind of support that’s similar to long-term care, but perhaps only for a short length of time, such as when they return from the hospital following surgery or some medical emergency, and where regular Medicare either no longer covers or doesn’t quite pick up just yet.
As reported by the Boston Globe in the news article, Medicare expands access to in-home support for seniors, written by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar:
“For years, Medicare has permitted private plans to offer supplemental benefits not covered by the traditional program. Think free gym memberships, transportation to medical appointments, or home-delivered meals following a hospitalization.
The new benefits take that to a higher level, with Medicare’s blessing.
‘‘It is a big concept, in the sense that it is officially encouraging plans to get across the line into the many, many things that affect the health and well-being of beneficiaries,’’ said Marc Russo, president of insurer Anthem’s Medicare business. ‘‘I, for one, who have been in and around Medicare for decades, believe it pays.’’
These supplemental benefits may be called an experiment for 2019, but it indicates that CMS and other private insurance companies have begun realizing the value in providing proper care and support for seniors at home as a cost saving option.
Home care is a far more affordable long-term option than nursing homes or assisted living facilities, and perhaps these insurance providers are understanding that if they keep their clients at home as opposed to other alternatives, it will save them money, so it is economically or fiscally responsible on their part to invest more heavily in home care options.
The cost of these supplemental plans can vary depending on the insurance provider, but in some cases there is no added cost. Seniors interested in these Medicare Advantage options for home care support are encouraged to seek assistance this year when filing for insurance for 2019.