Medicare Advantage Programs Help Ease the Struggles of Rising Food Costs for Seniors
MINNETONKA, MINN – With food prices increasing at an annual rate of 13.5 percent, according to the Consumer Price Index, a rate not seen for more than 43 years, some seniors are finding ways to save on how much they spend on healthy food with special programs available through Medicare Advantage health plans.
The annual enrollment period for Medicare is from October 15 through December 7.
Medica’s Healthy Savings benefit gives qualified members the opportunity to save up to 50 percent on fresh fruits and vegetables, up to $65 each quarter. About 83 percent of Medica’s Medicare Advantage members qualify for the program.
Medica Medicare members have saved more than $1.43 million through the program since 2020. Nearly 250,000 transactions have been completed through the program. Top fruits and vegetables purchased include bananas, lettuce, strawberries and cucumbers.
“This is a great program for seniors,” said Ann Kinsella, Medica Vice President and General Manager. “Healthy Savings not only helps our members save money during these challenging economic times, it also encourages them to eat healthy foods.”
Healthy Savings is easy to use. Members who qualify for the program are sent a Healthy Savings card in the mail. They simply scan their card at checkout. Or they can download a Healthy Savings app that provides a barcode that can be scanned. Participating retailers include Cub Foods, Coborn’s, HyVee, Walmart and Baker’s (in Nebraska) and many more locations.
Healthy Savings is provided through the Medicare Advantage Special Supplemental Benefit for the Chronically Ill (SSBCI) program. SSBCIs serve a subset of members – those with certain chronic conditions.
In addition to Healthy Savings, other Medica SSBCI benefits are available to members who work with a case manager and include programs that provide bath and home safety equipment, transportation, home-delivered meals and palliative care.
New for 2023, Medica also is offering on select plans rewards in the form of gift cards to major retailers for annual physical and other preventive measures. Through these rewards -- along with dental, eyewear, over-the-counter (OTC) allowances and the Healthy Savings benefit – some of Medica’s Medicare Advantage plans provide more than $2,000 in benefits per member per year.
Medica (www.medica.com) is a nonprofit health plan headquartered in Minnesota. The company serves communities by providing health care coverage and related services in the employer, individual, Medicaid and Medicare markets. It operates in Minnesota, Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Medica’s vision is to be trusted in the community for our unwavering commitment to high quality, affordable health care.
© 2022 Medica.