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Analysis: 34% of Medicare Advantage Plans Will Provide Benefits Related to COVID-19 in 2021

One out of every three Medicare Advantage plans will offer benefits related to COVID-19 treatment and prevention in 2021. Learn more about what these benefits may include.

Follow our Medicare Coronavirus News page for related information on coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on Medicare beneficiaries.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially dangerous for older adults, and Medicare Advantage plans are responding accordingly. 

In 2021, one out of every three Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) will offer new supplemental benefits related to keeping seniors safe from coronavirus. 

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This is according to a data report released Oct. 21 by the health care consulting firm Avalere Health. In all, 34% of Medicare Advantage plans will provide supplemental benefits that are in some way tied to the current pandemic. 

Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurance companies and are required by law to provide all of the same basic benefits as Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Once those minimum requirements are met, many Medicare Advantage plans may then offer additional, or supplemental, coverage for benefits not covered by Original Medicare.

Almost all Medicare Advantage plans will cover telehealth in 2021

The analysis found that 94% of Medicare Advantage plans will offer telehealth services for benefits covered by Medicare Part B in 2021. Telehealth use spiked in 2020 as more seniors looked for ways to avoid visiting doctor’s offices and risking exposure to coronavirus infection. Even Original Medicare expanded its own telehealth benefits in 2020.

27% of Medicare Advantage plans will offer COVID-19 care and relief packages to plan members. The packages will include face masks, hand sanitizer, a thermometer and other preventive tools. 

More than half of Medicare Advantage plans (57%) will include benefits for home meal deliveries, up from just 23% of all Medicare Advantage plans in 2018. 

Nearly 8 out of 10 plans will offer over-the-counter (OTC) drug benefits, and nearly half will offer non-emergency medical transportation coverage. 

In a press release announcing the findings, Joanna Young, a principal at Avalere, said, “(Medicare Advantage) plans are quickly adapting to the new reality by recognizing the needs of Medicare beneficiaries during the pandemic.” 

The most popular extra benefits offered by some Medicare Advantage plans in 2021 (and not covered by Original Medicare) include routine vision care (98% of plans), hearing care (94%), fitness club or gym memberships (92%) and dental coverage (91%).

Find out what Medicare Advantage plan benefits may be available where you live. Call today to speak with a licensed insurance agent who can help you compare plans and – if you’re eligible – help you sign up for the right plan for you.​

You can also compare plans online for free, with no obligation to enroll. 

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Christian

About the author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with MedicareAdvantage.com. He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

Christian has written hundreds of articles for MedicareAvantage.com that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at Mike@tzhealthmedia.com.

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