This year, select Anthem Medicare Advantage plans will offer members the option to receive support for their service dog (food, leash, vest) as part of their health insurance plan.
Anthem, Inc.’s affiliated health plans in more than a dozen states will offer wellness, social and support benefits, including support for service dogs, in many of their 2020 Medicare Advantage plans. Consumers who are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans that offer these benefits and qualify for the service dog support benefit can select this benefit, at no additional cost to them. This benefit includes an annual allowance for up to $500 to help pay for items used to care for their service dog, such as food, leashes and vests. Consumers must have a qualifying chronic condition and service dogs must meet the requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act and have approval from their healthcare provider.
Other social and support service options offered as part of the benefits package in these Medicare Advantage plans include transportation, nutritional support, a fitness device, pest control, and sessions with a dietitian and home-delivered pantry staples. These benefits are part of Anthem’s commitment to whole-person health – an approach to healthcare that takes into account the drivers of health, including medical, behavioral, and environmental obstacles.
“When we looked at the underlying medical, behavioral, and environmental obstacles our members face, we designed an expanded menu of wellness services,” said Josh Martin, President of Anthem’s Medicare West Region. “Last year, we led the industry in offering robust Medicare Advantage supplemental benefits, and saw strong demand for services such as alternative medicine, transportation, and the allowance for assistive devices. Our 2020 benefits will help remove hurdles to healthier living for our Medicare Advantage members – from nutrition counseling and fitness tracking to pest control and service dog support – by expanding our social and support benefits.”
Members who are enrolled in the Medicare Advantage plans will have access to this package of wellness benefits, at no extra cost. Members should consult their Evidence of Coverage document for specific benefit details as benefits may vary by plan.
- Pest Control: Quarterly preventive treatments to regulate or eliminate the intrusion of household pests that may impact a chronic condition. (New in 2020)
- Prescribed Meals: 2 meals per day for 90 days delivered to home. Based on qualifying clinical criteria, health plan consumer receives a prescription for meals and periodic appointments with a registered dietitian.
- In-Home Support: 4 four-hour shifts. Upon discharge from the hospital or nursing facility, consumers may receive in-home assistance with performing daily living activities.
- Respite Care: Up to 80 hours per year. Consumers are eligible if they have a chronic disease and have an unpaid caregiver providing care.
- Adult Day Center Visits: Up to 1 visit per week for adult day center services, in order to help older adults who need supervision and assistance.
- Pain Management: Up to 24 visits per year to receive a combination of acupuncture/pressure, chiropractic, and/or therapeutic massage. Note: Some plans in California, do not offer the Pain Management benefit but have acupuncture (up to unlimited visits) and routine chiropractic care separate benefits.
- Post Hospitalization Meals: Up to 7 days of meal delivery to assist with a transition home following discharge from a hospital or nursing facility.
- Exercise Programs: Access to Nifty after Fifty and SilverSneakers®, which are fitness programs tailored to older adults, and can be prescribed or individuals can sign up on their own.
- Outreach Support Program: Consumers may be paired with an associate to address and alleviate conditions associated with loneliness.
- Transportation: Services to help members get to doctor appointments and other healthcare visits.
Individuals who are interested in joining one of these health plans can enroll during this year’s Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP). The AEP begins October 15, 2019, and continues through December 7, 2019 and gives consumers enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B the opportunity to sign up for Anthem’s 2020 Medicare Advantage plans.
For more details about these health plan benefits and Anthem’s Medicare plans, consumers can call (855) 866-3957, which is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, April 1 to Sept. 30; and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, Oct. 1 to March 31. Consumers can also visit the company’s online store.