Medicare has always had a problem with its pay-for-service model – it will pay for your expensive surgery, hospital stay and rehab, but not a couple of hundred dollars to install grab bars in your bathroom, or an aide to assist you in the shower, either of which might have prevented the fall that caused the injury in the first place.
Starting with plans offered for the 2019 calendar year, such coverage may be offered by Medicare Advantage plans, which can be purchased in lieu of Medicare Part B. These new services include:
- Adult day care programs
- Home aides to help with activities of daily living, like bathing and dressing
- Palliative care at home for some patients
- Home safety devices and modifications like grab bars and wheelchair ramps
- Transportation to medical appointments
Because the rule was announced in April and the insurers had to submit their proposals in June, it is unknown how many plans will offer expanded coverage. For an in-depth discussion of these changes, check out this article in the New York Times. You may also want to visit our Medicare page for Medicare enrollment pitfalls.