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Will Medicare Cover Meal Delivery and Grocery Shopping?


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Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) generally doesn’t pay for meal delivery service. Medicare Part B (medical insurance) typically does not include home delivered meals or personal care as part of its home health service coverage. However, some Medicare Advantage plans may cover meal delivery service and transportation for non-medical needs like grocery shopping.

Meal delivery service and Medicare Advantage plans

Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative way of getting your Part A and Part B benefits. Many Medicare Advantage plans also offer other health-related benefits, like routine vision care and eyeglasses. Recent rule changes now let Medicare Advantage plans offer certain extra benefits, including such things as meal delivery services.

What changed to allow meal delivery service?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated its rules about Medicare Advantage coverage. It used to be that if you have Medicare coverage, you had to meet stricter requirements to get meal delivery. Under the new rules, Medicare Advantage plans may now offer benefits for services such as healthy meal delivery in some cases.

Under the new rules, Medicare Advantage plans may extend coverage for certain services that might:

  • Prevent or treat illness or injury
  • Reduce emergency medical care
  • Help you make up for physical problems that reduce function
  • Help with the psychological effects of illness or injuries

The service must be medically appropriate to your health condition, and recommended by your doctor.

Do all Medicare Advantage plans cover home-delivered meals?

Home meal delivery service is an “optional supplemental benefit.” That means not all Medicare Advantage plans cover home-delivered meal services.

Meal delivery service: what else should I know?

Please note that when it comes to Medicare and meal delivery service:

  • Only Medicare Advantage plans can typically offer this service.
  • To qualify, you must have a certain health condition or situation (for example, you’ve just gotten out of the hospital after surgery.)
  • The meal delivery service is generally covered for a limited time.

How do I find a Medicare Advantage plan that offers meal delivery service?

One way to start is by simply entering your zip code in the box on this page. You will see a list of Medicare Advantage plans available locally. Click on a plan name. Look at each plan’s summary of benefits – it might list meal delivery services as a benefit.

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