Non-skilled in-home care supports will be included as a supplemental benefit in Medicare Advantage plans in 2019, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS), which announced the policy change Thursday afternoon.
The move marks the first time that CMS has allowed an item or service to be eligible as a supplemental benefit that covers daily maintenance. Along with non-skilled in-home care supports, CMS will also include portable wheelchair ramps and other assistive devices and modifications when patients need them, according to an announcement Thursday.
“Our priority is to ensure that our seniors have more choices and lower premiums in their Medicare health and drug plans,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement. “We are focused on addressing the specific needs of beneficiaries and providing new flexibilities for Medicare Advantage plans to offer new health-related benefits. This is a big win for patients.”