Medicare Expands Its Services Through Advantage Plans With In-Home Support for Seniors
Seniors in many of the US States will be able to get help with chores, safety devices and respite for caregivers through Private Medicare advantage plans. This reflects a common recognition, that even a little help at home could be beneficial for patients at home for their well being and those changes will also reduce some costs for tax-payers. A couple of hundred dollars to install grab bars in bathroom, could prevent falls and broken hip under the shower, which is in many cases life changing injury.
Howard Gleckman said that those expended services by medicare are the type of services people usually need in long term care. There is a wall between long term care and medicare which never covered the expanses of long term care with few minor exceptions. Although change will start slowly – this service will be offered in 2019 in 20 US States, but its expected to grow in the future. The applicants must have a health reason to qualify and the cost will vary, in some plans there are not even added costs, but the limits will apply. The insurance plans for extended care will be limited to one or two days per week.
23 Million of Medicare beneficiaries or more than 1 in 3 will be covered by medicare advantage plan in 2019. The private plans offer lower out-of-pocket costs in exchange for limits on choice of doctors and hospitals and other restrictions such as prior authorization for services. Medicare enrollment ends on 7th Dec. for the year fo 2019. Its not easy to find online quotes and comparisons between the insurers and their private plans, so families and individuals will have to check the promo materials delivered to their mail box. Medicare has permitted for years now the supplemental plans, like using gym for rehabilitation or home delivered meals following the period after hospitalization.
Marc Russo, president of insurer Anthem’s Medicare business said that thats a big concept to get medicare also in other areas which influence the prosperity of health and well being of beneficiares. Anthems insurers are offering different insurance packages in 12 of 21 states. They include alternative medicine as acupuncture or a personal helper at home. On the other hand medicare can not be a substitute for a long term medicare. The seniors allegible for medicare long term care through medicaid must spend down their life savings.
The changes represent a rare consensus between Demcorats and Republicans, Republican and Democratic lawmakers, as well as Seema Verma, the Trump administration’s Medicare chief, are pulling in the same direction. The idea for broader medicare services through medicare advantage was brought by bipartisan Senate Finance Committee bill to improve care for chronically ill seniors. Medicare estimates that nearly 800,000 Americans will have access to the new benefits next year, the most popular are home helpers and support for caregivers. Consumer advocates recommend that seniors carefully decide whether Medicare Advantage is best for them and if, what plan is the best fit for their needs, if they dont like it, they can switch back to normal medicare plan, or even switch to another medicare advantage plan.