MA Plans Offering In-Home Support Services Increases 32% in 2023

McKnight’s Home Care News
The number of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans offering in-home support services as a benefit increased by approximately 32% this year, according to an analysis by ATI Advisory. In 2023, 1,375 MA plans are providing  in-home supports, such as home care, as a supplemental benefit, compared to 1,035 plans last year. 
The number of plans offering expanded supplemental benefits grew by more than 40%. Nearly half of them are offering more than one benefit, Tyler Overstreet Cromer, principal and head of ATI Advisory’s Medicare Innovation Practice, told McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse.
“I think this is a reflection of something we’ve been talking about for awhile, which is really person-centered benefits and having a menu of things that people can choose from,” Cromer said. 
Move to supplemental benefits
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services began allowing MA plans to begin offering expanded health-related supplemental benefits in 2019. These benefits included home care, transportation, meal delivery and adult day care. In 2020, CMS expanded the benefits to include other services, such as pest control. Fewer than 10% of plans offered any supplemental benefits in 2019. 
Cromer said this year there was little growth in the number of plans offering pest control, home modifications and extended meals. However, there was growth in those offering groceries and fresh produce.
There is little data to date on the number of people taking advantage of benefits or if those benefits are reaching the people who need them most, according to Cromer. 
“Are they available to people in an equitable way? Are they available to people who have high needs,” Cromer continued. “That being said, it’s a balancing act because we want there to be innovation in this space.” 
Social needs trend
Addressing health through social needs is a growing trend among both payers and providers. Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released guidance to states on innovative ways to address health-related social needs of Medicaid recipients through the use of “in lieu of services and settings” in Medicaid managed care. Those services and settings include both transportation and housing. 
Earlier this week, Envoy America partnered with the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey to provide transportation and companion services to its 56,000 members. Aging in place platform healthAlign also announced a recent partnership with Season Health to provide nutritional benefits to Medicare Advantage plans.