The AEP season is upon us and now’s is the time that anyone wanting to make a change to their Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug plan can do so. The deadline to submit a plan change is December 7th.
For those that don’t want to change their plan don’t need to do anything. The plans renew automatically, unless you’ve been informed otherwise by your plan.
What new benefits are we hearing about in the marketplace?
Healthy Food Grocery Cards
There are more and more plans offering Healthy Food card options to their Medicare Advantage members. This benefit allows members to buy healthy foods like fruits and vegetables at participating grocery stores up to the monthly allowance. For those Medicare beneficiaries that have Medicaid a lot of plans are adding this to their dual special needs (DSNP) plans, for those that have both Medicare and Medicaid.
For those without Medicaid, there are only a few plans in the Atlanta market that offer the Healthy Food Card. To be eligible for the grocery card you need to have a qualifying chronic condition (doesn’t apply to DSNP plans). We’ve attached a copy of the list of the SBBCI chronic conditions:
Some plans will have the benefit as a stand alone others are combining them with their Over-the-Counter (OTC) benefit. Meaning: they’ll give you a monthly allowance and you can either buy the OTC items or the healthy foods. Other plans have two separate allowances, one for OTC and another for healthy foods.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM)
We’ve heard that Medicare is now covering these devices more easily and thus Medicare Advantage Plans are too. The CGM offer a simple way to monitor your glucose. CGM automatically tracks your glucose levels day and night using a small sensor worn on the back of the upper arm and a monitor that lets you view your glucose levels at any time. Plans will cover these devices under the Durable Medical Equipment benefits.
Review Your ANOC
Make sure to review your Annual Notice of Change so you know what’s changing with your plan. Also don’t forget to review the formulary to make sure that the medications you take are still being covered, you’ll want pay attention to the tier level the medication is in as that will dictate how much you’ll pay.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need help with reviewing your Medicare plan options. Happy AEP!
Ask Gabe Inc