Medicare Grocery Benefits

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how to take advantage of medicare grocery benefits
November 15, 2023 | Johanna Karlsson

There’s no doubt that Medicare insurance is a crucial part of coverage for the healthcare needs of many people in America. While most of us understand that this government program can help qualifying Americans cover things like hospital stays, lab tests, and doctor services, there are other possible benefits that we might not know about — and that means we could be leaving perks and features of our health insurance coverage unused, potentially spending money out of pocket that we may not have to. This all too often includes Medicare grocery benefits that may be available to help you cover the cost of food. But what exactly is this grocery allowance, and who is qualified to get it?

The HealthPlusLife team is here to help you understand how to make the most out of your health and life insurance plans, and the expert staff can assist you with making coverage options. Let’s begin by exploring what, exactly, this potential benefit is before we elaborate on who might be eligible — and how to get it if you aren’t yet eligible.

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What is the Medicare Grocery Allowance?

When people talk about Medicare grocery allowance benefits or an allowance that can help seniors cover their spending on groceries, they often mention a $900 figure. It’s important to note this isn’t actually a standard Medicare benefit, meaning many of us on Medicare won’t actually qualify for this helpful allowance — but some of us will. What’s behind this discrepancy?

First, let’s explain the basics of how the Medicare coverage system works. Many people are on Original Medicare, which is a combination of Medicare Part A and Part B, and this indeed comes directly from the government. But others have chosen to instead sign up for Medicare Part C, more widely known as Medicare Advantage, which is an alternative to Original Medicare available through private insurance companies.

These companies must comply with and be approved by Medicare, meaning the same standard benefits and coverages of Original Medicare will be included in Medicare Advantage plans. However, many Medicare Part C plans available include other benefits, such as dental or vision coverage, prescription drug coverage, and, sometimes, a grocery allowance. That’s why it’s important to research options before signing up for a Medicare Advantage plan to ensure you understand what benefits will and will not be included. Even then, not all Medicare Advantage plans will include a grocery allowance — and even if they do, the specific dollar amount will vary depending on the terms of that specific policy.

How Does the Medicare Grocery Benefit Work?

If you opt for a Medicare Advantage plan that includes a grocery allowance, most will offer this in the form of a monthly or quarterly set amount. But it’s not a blank check to buy anything you want at the grocery store, and there are stipulations that will vary depending on the policy.

Most often, staples like eggs, produce, meat, vegetables, dairy products, sugar, and flour will be covered under the allowance, while extras like alcohol, tobacco, high-fat snacks, and personal hygiene items won’t be included. The specific details should be available online or in documentation from your insurer.

You’ll likely receive a food allowance card or something similar that will be preloaded at the policy’s predetermined rate, and you might have to go through some extra steps to get the allowance, such as annual wellness visits, health risk assessments, or other things.

medicare grocery benefits

What Are Some Other Medicare Benefits I Should Know About?

Making the choice to go with a Medicare Advantage plan instead of the typical Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and B) may carry with it other perks and benefits that you won’t want to miss. Vision, hearing, and dental services can be covered by certain plans, for example. Medicare prescription drug coverage is also fairly common — and another benefit that Original Medicare doesn’t offer unless you also enroll in a separate Medicare Part D plan to help cover your prescription medication costs.

Like everything else when it comes to Medicare Advantage plans, the details will come down to the specific plan you have, and that’s why it’s so crucial to make a careful, deliberate, thoughtful, educated decision about what coverage you will have when it’s time for Medicare open enrollment.

Call HealthPlusLife to Make the Most of Medicare Grocery Benefits

As this blog has explained, some of us may be able to get help with covering the costs of our groceries through Medicare grocery benefits. However, this will only be possible with a Medicare Advantage, not through Original Medicare, and even then, the details — or even existence — of some kind of allowance to help pay for food and pantry staples will be determined by the specifics of the policy.

Speak With a Licensed Insurance Agent
Call Now (888) 828-5064 TTY 711

It’s one of the many potential benefits that could be available under Medicare Advantage, but you’ll need to make an educated decision about coverage to ensure you’re getting the things you need. That’s where the team of expert agents with HealthPlusLife can help. We’re available to help you consider your options for coverage, including the Medicare Advantage plans available to you, and answer your questions as you get more information to make your decisions for your healthcare needs. We’re here to help, and we’re happy to do so. Get started today by calling us at 888-828-5064, or contacting our team online. We’re ready to help.

Johanna Karlsson
Johanna Karlsson is a veteran health and life insurance professional licensed in 50 states. She relocated from the countryside in the south of Sweden and has not looked back. After coming to the United States to attend university, she gained her degree in Public Relations. She brought her public relations skills to a local international health insurance where she discovered a new passion in insurance. After years with that company, Johanna now joins HealthPlusLife to help build a team of licensed insurance agents ready to meet your insurance needs.