Extra Medicare Benefit plans are providing in 2022 supplemental advantages that sort out social determinants of well being akin to meals and transportation, a brand new evaluation finds.
The evaluation, launched Tuesday by consulting agency Avalere Well being, comes a couple of days after Medicare open enrollment began and represents a rising development amongst plans to sort out well being inequities.
“This early take a look at the advantages exhibits that sure varieties of non-medical advantages—most notably meals—are broadly obtainable at a $0 premium, whereas different varieties of advantages—akin to in-home help providers—are supplied much less broadly,” the evaluation mentioned.
Avalere checked out MA plan advantages information from the primary quarter of 2021 and the plan advantages packages for 2022 launched by the Facilities for Medicare & Medicaid Companies (CMS). Researchers examined the claims information to find out whether or not there was any improve in profit choices primarily based on a plan’s star rankings. The evaluation excluded particular wants plans as a result of they’re solely obtainable to particular beneficiaries.
For 2022, meal supply was the commonest supplied advantage of the 4 that had been analyzed, with 68% of plans providing the profit. The second hottest was transportation providers with 39%, adopted by diet at 30% and in-home help providers with 11%.
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The proportion of plans with meal advantages was up in comparison with the 2021 plan yr, when 55% of plans supplied the advantages. Plans that supplied diet additionally elevated from 17% in 2021 to 30% in 2022.
Plans that supply transportation advantages barely elevated, with 39% in comparison with 36% in 2021.
The supplemental profit that plans supplied the least was in-home help, with 11% providing the profit in 2022 in contrast with 6% in 2021.
Avalere additionally regarded on the relationship between star rankings and supplemental advantages.
“As a result of plans with 4 or extra stars obtain larger funds, they’ve extra funding obtainable to supply complement advantages or cut back cost-sharing, in comparison with plans with fewer stars,” the evaluation mentioned.
Plans with extra stars supplied extra of the advantages. For instance, in 2022, 70% of plans with 4 or extra stars supplied meal deliveries in contrast with 62% of plans which have lower than 4 stars.
Nevertheless, the share of plans with 4 stars providing diet was decrease in comparison with 2021, with 16% of plans providing the advantages in 2022 in comparison with 18% this yr.
The findings come because the variety of plans with excessive star rankings skyrocketed for 2022, with almost 70% of plans having a ranking of 4 or extra.
Avalere’s evaluation comes because the Biden administration has made closing well being disparities a serious precedence.