Healthier people cost less to insure over time. This knowledge has inspired health insurance carriers across the nation to provide new benefits to its members to keep them healthier longer. Starting in 2019, Medicare Advantage plans began offering similar benefits to help support health and wellness. Keep reading to learn how you can utilize these benefits on a Medicare Advantage plan.
What is Medicare Advantage?
Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, is a comprehensive plan option that helps people cover the 20% of health costs that Original Medicare does not and are offered by private insurance companies. Think of Medicare Advantage as Medicare combined with a supplement plan. Every plan has Medicare Part A and Part B benefits. Under Medicare Advantage, available plans depend on where you live. Also, the deductibles, co-insurance, co-payments, and drug coverage vary by plan. You do receive extra benefits like health and wellness, dental, and vision plans as well.
What Types of Health and Benefits Are Available?
The specific benefits vary depending on the insurance company. Here are some examples of what companies offer to Medicare Advantage enrollees.
- Go365: A program that rewards members for moving and increasing their steps as well as participating in preventive care.
- SilverSneakers Fitness Program: Offers online exercise resources and live fitness classes at gyms nationwide.
- Well Dine: A meal program that delivers healthy meals to people with chronic diseases.
- Care Management: Connects people with a care manager to help with their health care needs.
United Health Care (UHC)
UHC offers the Renew Active Program. It is a multi-benefit wellness program that replaces SilverSneakers where available. Renew Active offers:
- Fitness: Allows participants to choose a gym in their network and includes a session with a trainer to create a fitness plan for them. People can also workout at home using online video workouts.
- Train Your Brain: Offers online brain training through AARP Stay Sharp that includes games and exercises.
- FitBit Community: Connect with other FitBit users and challenge and encourage each other to move more.
- Classes and Events: Local opportunities to improve health, learn, and develop new skills.
- Wellness Program: Clover includes a free membership to 13,000 gyms and fitness centers including: YMCA, Bally Total Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, and Curves.
- Personal Care Team : Offers one-on-one home visits with nurse practitioners and wellness managers to create a personalized care plan for you.
- OTC Credits: Quarterly allowance for select OTC items. Orders will be shipped to your home at no extra charge.
Cost and Enrollment
The cost of health and wellness benefits are a part of the cost you pay for Medicare Advantage. You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan starting when you’re initially eligible for Medicare. If you want to make the switch to it or go to a different plan, you can enroll during Open Enrollment between October 15 and December 7th and make changes to your enrollment between January 1 and March 31st during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period.
Not sure where to begin? Our Medicare insurance professionals will help you find the right plan today!