Did you know that changes in Medicare might mean more benefits for you or your loved one? Under a new law passed this year, Medicare is revamping benefits for seniors with chronic illnesses, mainly through the Medicare Advantage program.

These changes stem from the idea that improving social factors like nutrition, transportation or safety can give patients better outcomes—even while saving money for Medicare. For example, installing an inexpensive grab bar in the shower could prevent a fall and a broken hip. This simple modification could avoid pain, surgery and a long period of recovery, not to mention a very expensive hospitalization and rehabilitation.

Here are some examples of services Medicare Advantage will start covering if they are determined to be health-related:

  • Home aides to help with activities of daily living like bathing and dressing
  • Home safety devices and modifications like railings, grab bars and wheelchair ramps
  • Transportation for doctor visits and other medical appointments
  • Meal delivery to the home
  • Visits by a nurse or pharmacist to make sure medications are being taken properly
  • Telehealth services, including coverage for stroke patients, so that doctors can monitor patients in their home from a remote location
  • Adult day care programs

Starting in 2019, these new benefits will make it possible for more people to receive care designed to keep them out of the hospital and independent for as long as possible. So, if you or your loved one has chronic conditions like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, heart failure or rheumatoid arthritis, you may want to consider switching to a Medicare Advantage plan.

Let Home Care Angels be your go-to place for these Medicare-covered services when you need them. We are ready to help with nutrition-, transportation- and safety-related services—from preparing healthy meals to arranging rides to the doctor to preventing falls in the bathroom. Learn more about our services by clicking here.

Home Care Angels will help you stay informed as Medicare Advantage revises its rules and broadens the definition of health-related services to pay for assistance with daily activities, such as dressing, eating and personal care, from home service aides. To learn more about whether you or your loved one can take advantage of these additional benefits, visit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Remember that changes to Medicare plans can only be made during open enrollment, held every year from October 15 through December 7. Also, since the law only recently became effective and it takes time for insurers to mobilize, some of these new benefits will not become available until 2020 or beyond.

Home Care Angels provides in-home care throughout north and northwest Chicagoland. Please call 847.824.5221 to speak with one of our Client Care Coordinators if you would like more information on in-home care.