Medicare Advantage Plans Expanded Coverage of Health Related Benefits – Does it Create Further Health Care Disparities?

Last month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded how it defines the term “primarily health related” benefits that insurers are permitted to include in their private Medicare Advantage plans.  Insurers would include these extra health related benefits in addition to what traditional Medicare covers.  These benefits may include transportation to doctors, home modifications, better food options, or home care aides.  Of the 61 million people enrolled in Medicare, 20 million have opted for Medicare Advantage, a privately run alternative to traditional Medicare.  Medicare Advantage beneficiaries pay additional premiums for increased benefits.

Many would argue that CMS’ proposal is simply a way to better understand how we keep people healthy and well and living longer and independently.  However, some may argue that those Medicare beneficiaries who cannot afford the additional premiums for additional benefits under Medicare Advantage plans may be left behind.

You can read more about the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposal click here.

About Jerry

Jerold E. Rothkoff, a practicing New Jersey and Pennsylvania attorney, is the Principal of the Rothkoff Law Group, an elder care law firm. Jerry dedicates his practice to serving clients in the areas of life care planning, long-term care planning, Medicaid & VA benefits, and advocacy for the elderly and disabled. He is past President of the NJ Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, former chair of the elder law section of the NJ State Bar Association, and past President of the Life Care Planning Law Firm Association. Jerry continues to be an outspoken advocate for the rights of the elderly and disabled. He writes for and gives presentations regularly to attorneys and other professionals about legal issues related to seniors and those with disabilities. Jerry’s community activities include the Twilight Wish Foundation, the Delaware Valley Stroke Council, the Alzheimer’s Association, as well as numerous other advocacy groups. When not in the office, Jerry spends time with his wife, Erica, and their five children, eighteen-year old identical twin girls, Liza and Julia, fifteen-year old fraternal twin boys, Evan and Gregory, and six-year old Aitan.

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