Posted on May 25, 2022 by Larry Johnson
Posted on May 25, 2022 by Larry Johnson
Are you curious about the Medicare grocery benefit? Our experienced, licensed agents can help with answers to questions you may have about this vital benefit. Give us a call at (800) 950-0608 today to learn more.
What is the Medicare 900 grocery benefit? If you’re a Medicare beneficiary, the odds are good that there are a host of healthy benefits you haven’t taken advantage of. Most of the time, it’s because you have no idea that these healthy benefits exist. In some cases, you may not have heard of these healthy benefits because you’re enrolled solely in Original Medicare.
This may be the first time you’ve ever heard of the grocery benefit for Medicare beneficiaries. That’s a huge part of the reason why you may be in need of a Benefits Breakdown! Usually, the first question on everyone’s mind is: “is the senior flex card legitimate?” or “Can you really get a Medicare grocery allowance up to 900 dollars?” or even, “does Medicare cover groceries?” While it may come as a surprise to many, the answer is yes!
In this series, we’ll be detailing some of the supplemental benefits that you may be able to take advantage of if you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. But what are the eligibility requirements for this new benefit? Today, we’re going to focus on the grocery benefit Medicare offers for those enrolled in a Part C plan.
So, what is the Medicare food allowance benefit? Being able to afford high-quality, healthy food on a fixed benefit is a major issue for a huge portion of the American senior population, and many seniors with Original Medicare are likely missing out as a result of their limited Medicare contract. To address this issue, many providers are making high-quality food available for seniors on Medicare.
Participating providers send qualifying seniors a Medicare flex card for food. However, the intricacies of this benefit are a little more complex than simply free groceries, free food packages, or free food for Medicare recipients or free food for seniors on Medicare. Let’s start with the basics. This card is often known by a few different names, including:
The Medicare grocery plus card provides you with a monthly or quarterly allowance, depending on your provider, which you can then spend on purchasing healthy groceries from participating retailers. Some providers allow you to place orders online for delivery of groceries to your home*. It’s important to remember that this flex card is not the same thing as food stamps or access to a food bank. It’s also not a debit card. But what are the Medicare grocery benefit qualifications? To learn whether or not you qualify for Medicare food delivery as part of your Medicare food benefit or supplemental nutrition assistance program, be sure to check with your Medicare Advantage provider.
*Some providers or stores have a minimum order limit amount per delivery. These limits can be upwards to $35 for a minimum order, depending on your provider.
For most providers, all you’ll need to do in order to qualify for the grocery benefit is enroll in a plan that provides these supplemental benefits, which may or may not include access to nutrition programs, food assistance, or a supplemental food program. For some others, you’ll also need to have been diagnosed with a chronic health condition in order to qualify. Some of the chronic health conditions that qualify for eligibility for this grocery benefit with certain providers include:
There are certain limits to the grocery benefit. One limitation is that you cannot buy just any type of food with your Medicare healthy foods card. Your choices are limited to certain healthy foods that are approved for purchase by your insurance provider.
You are also limited to using your new benefit only at certain grocery stores approved by your insurance provider. While this food card is redeemable at most grocers, you may find some stores who may not accept it.
Finally, you’ll also find that your balance does not carry from month to month, or to a new benefit period. Your unused allowance will simply disappear, leaving you with just the benefit period’s new balance to use for groceries. Still, with a little ingenuity, you could have no problem getting food assistance that can help you make yourself a delicious and nutritious meal!
You’ll find that choosing a Medicare Advantage plan that provides provisions for free groceries for older adults on Medicare can help you save big on monthly expenses. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan that allows you to take advantage of this grocery benefit, you’re doing yourself a major disservice by not applying for it.
In order to apply for the grocery benefit, you’ll need to contact your carrier to first make sure that you’re eligible. Remember, some providers require you to have been diagnosed with a chronic health condition in order to receive these supplemental benefits. Some others may require you to be enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid.
If you qualify, your provider will help you apply. Before long, you’ll be saving plenty of money while picking up healthy, nourishing foods on your next trip to the grocery store!
Disclaimer: We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.