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6 Things You Probably Didn't Know Medicare Advantage Covers

By Nadia-Elysse Harris
Medicare Advantage Part C offers medical and non-medical “supplemental” benefits to Medicare beneficiaries.

If choosing a Medicare plan and supplemental benefits has felt overwhelming to you, Medicare Advantage (Part C) may be the solution you’ve been looking for. Medicare Advantage has been touted as a “one-stop shop” by the private health insurers who provide the coverage, because it offers medical and non-medical “supplemental” benefits that original Medicare does not. 

Here are 6 benefits you can expect from many Medicare Advantage plans that may surprise you.

Health Care During Travel

Most Medicare Advantage plans cover medical emergencies that occur while you’re traveling within the U.S. and its territories, but some even cover overseas travel. Some plans cover your medical expenses up front; others ask you to pay and then reimburse you later. If you travel a lot, it may be worth searching for a plan that anticipates the possibility of these incidents.

Gym Memberships and Wellness Programs

Working out may be the most important preventative measure you can take to ward off illness and maintain overall health. So it’s no surprise that many Medicare Advantage plans include gym memberships and/or SilverSneakers, a fitness program designed with seniors in mind. 

House Cleaning and Home Modification

For some Medicare beneficiaries, day-to-day things like cleaning the house can be very difficult without help. While house-cleaning isn’t necessarily a medical necessity, it does improve quality of life. Some home modifications, like arm rails or wheelchair ramps, can help make activity in and around the home easier. Both house cleaning and home modification are covered by some Medicare Advantage plans. 

Telemedicine Services

Sometimes simple medical questions don’t require a trip to the doctor. Many Medicare Advantage plans offer telemedicine services and nursing hotlines where patients can access real-time medical advice without leaving home. 

Emergency and Non-Emergency Transportation

Many Medicare Advantage plans can cover transportation, especially for doctor’s visits. Some plans even partner with private ridesharing services to make things easier. 

Groceries and Meal Delivery

Similarly, some plans offer grocery shopping and meal delivery for beneficiaries who can’t get around themselves. These services are typically short-term, for use at home immediately following a surgical procedure, or due to a certain health condition. If you’re anticipating being immobile for a bit, you may want to check to see if your Medicare Advantage coverage includes this benefit.