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For the second year in a row, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has widened the scope of supplemental benefits Medicare Advantage (MA) plans can offer, creating even more opportunities for home care providers to become partners in MA contracts. CMS is also giving the MA program a pay raise to help drive the expansion.
“The new guidance gives plans nearly as much flexibility as possible within the constraints of the law,” she said. “Said another way: I think that CMS has done everything it possibly can, within the constraints of the statute, to make the supplemental benefit flexible and easy for plans to administer.”
The benefit expansion comes after CMS added non-skilled in-home care as an MA benefit in 2019. Before that, supplemental benefits could only include services that were “primarily health-related.”
Some examples include home modification, companion care, carpet cleaning and more.