Two lawmakers are introducing legislation that would expand the scope of supplemental benefits offered in Medicare Advantage.
According to a Sept. 20 news release from AHIP, the trade association representing the health insurance industry, the Whole Health in Medicare Advantage Act would allow more types of supplemental benefits to be offered in the program.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Gus Bilirakis of Florida and Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon.
"Prevention, education, and access are essential components of effective health care programs such as Medicare. Allowing Medicare Advantage programs to tailor supplemental programs based upon these factors can both help save money in the long run and more importantly improve patient outcomes for high risk seniors," Mr. Bilirakis said in the release.
Medicare Advantage supplemental benefits — which include services like dental, vision and hearing coverage not included in original Medicare — typically must be related to medical needs. Beginning in 2020, plans designed to serve chronically ill beneficiaries have been able to offer supplemental benefits for non-medical needs, such as assistance with general expenses and transportation for non-medical purposes, according to KFF.