Analysis: In-Home Support Benefits, Caregiver Support on the Rise in Medicare Advantage
Expanded supplemental benefits in Medicare Advantage climb 35% for 2023
Washington, D.C. – As Medicare’s annual open enrollment period continues, a new brief commissioned by Better Medicare Alliance (BMA) and prepared by the actuarial consulting firm Milliman demonstrates that supplemental benefits in Medicare Advantage continue to expand for the 2023 coverage year.
Milliman’s findings show that under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) 2018 reinterpretation of “primarily health-related” benefits, supplemental benefit offerings in Medicare Advantage including in-home support services, caregiver support, home-based palliative care, and therapeutic massage increased for the upcoming year.
Overall, the number of Medicare Advantage plans to offer at least one of the five recently expanded supplemental benefits jumped 35% (824 to 1,111) from 2022 to 2023 with the largest increase seen among in-home support services, now offered across 794 plans in 42 states. Likewise, Milliman reports that, “The prevalence of support for caregivers of enrollees almost tripled from 2021 to 2023.”
“Medicare Advantage is affordable, high-quality Medicare for more than 29 million Americans. This research shows just some of the ways Medicare Advantage delivers the whole-person care seniors expect and deserve,” said Mary Beth Donahue, President and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance. “As seniors contend with rising household costs, their ability to access more benefits that are built into the affordable cost of their Medicare Advantage plan is welcome news.”
“Latinos, and indeed all seniors, find value in Medicare Advantage supplemental benefits – which are important to making informed coverage decisions at enrollment time,” said Elena Rios, MD, MSPH, MACP, President and CEO, National Hispanic Medical Association. “Milliman’s research shows that these benefits in Medicare Advantage have increased 217% since 2020. Working with partners like Better Medicare Alliance, we will continue to champion benefit flexibility in Medicare Advantage that supports this sustained innovation.”
“Through these supplemental benefits unavailable in fee-for-service Medicare, Medicare Advantage continues to deliver value for seniors and the health care system,” said Kenneth Thorpe, PhD, Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and Chair of the Better Medicare Alliance Board of Directors. “With in-home support services now provided across Medicare Advantage plans in 42 states and caregiver support nearly tripling in prevalence from 2021 to 2023, it is clear that Medicare Advantage is seizing its opportunity to further bolster its benefit offerings in ways that are meaningful to beneficiaries.”
“At Preferred Primary Care Physicians, our physicians and care teams across the greater Pittsburgh area know that the availability and use of benefits such as in-home support services, home-based palliative care, support for caregivers, and similar benefits can have a real-world impact on seniors’ wellbeing and ability to manage disease progression. We celebrate the ways that Medicare Advantage is innovating and adapting to care for seniors beyond the four walls of health systems like ours,” said Frank Civitarese, DO, President, Preferred Primary Care Physicians (Pennsylvania).
Read the full brief from Milliman HERE.