Does Medicare Cover Meal Delivery?

If you want to keep your body in excellent health, then it helps to maintain a healthy diet, which is a critical component of your wellness. Unfortunately, seniors and people with chronic conditions can find it challenging to make it to the grocery store to purchase fresh items necessary for maintaining a healthy diet. With impaired mobility, it is even more challenging to transport grocery bags, cook in the kitchen or even maneuver well enough to get around the house. These are all reasons why it can be a hassle trying to ensure your body receives the nutrition it needs. Medicare Advantage plans and other community programs may be able to help with food delivery available if you qualify for programs such as Meals on Wheels.

Medicare Benefits Solutions

Apr 26, 2021

 3 minutes read

What kinds of meal delivery programs are there?

You have a few different options when it comes to delivery services. The Meals on Wheels program, in particular, tries to help older people who aren’t able to get the right food for themselves due to a disability or chronic health issue.

There are 5,000 programs for Meals on Wheels throughout the United States, which help people all over the country. More than 2 million people are supported by this program each year. There is usually a sliding payment schedule that allows people who qualify for the program to receive the help and not be turned away because of their financial limitations.
Some Meals on Wheels programs allow individuals to pay for services using food stamps in addition to the sliding scale options. Other services may also be available, including getting a supply of animal food for a pet or transportation.

There are many delivery programs available in addition to Meals on Wheels. Insurance plans often fund them, and the government sponsors many others. When you have financial constrictions, Medicaid can help with meal services for those who qualify.

Medicare benefits for meal delivery services

Generally, Original Medicare Part A and Part B do not pay for meal delivery. It only covers medical necessary services. Medicare recipients also can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, known as Medicare Part C, instead of Original Medicare. With Medicare Advantage plans, there are usually extra benefits offered, including vision, prescription drug coverage, dental and even meal delivery services.

Costs and coverage may vary for Medicare Advantage plans because private insurance companies offer them. Since you have individual needs, it is a good idea to compare plans and programs offered in your area. Try to select the right one that suits you. You may qualify for meal delivery services like Meals on Wheels if you require emergency medical care regularly, have a severe injury or illness, have specific mental health disorders, or have a demobilizing physical problem.

You will need to demonstrate to the meal programs that you have an extreme need for their services. Even the situations mentioned above do not automatically qualify you for specific programs. Sometimes, people are only eligible for meal delivery for a limited time. Take, for example, physical conditions that improve, such as a disease or following surgery. You may only be allowed to use Medicare benefits for meal delivery service temporarily.

Check with your insurance provider to find out if you qualify for meal delivery. Even though individuals receive the service on a case-by-case basis for qualifying individuals who genuinely need the help, having a meal delivery service can be highly beneficial for them. It can improve their quality of life by ensuring they have proper nutrition.

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