Non-skilled in-home care services will be allowed as a supplemental benefit for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans in 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced in a final rule issued Monday.
The benefit marks the first time CMS has allowed supplemental benefits that include daily maintenance in Medicare Advantage.
“CMS is expanding the definition of ‘primarily health related,” the agency stated in its announcement. “Under the new definition, the agency will allow supplemental benefits if they compensate for physical impairments, diminish the impact of injuries or health conditions, and/or reduce avoidable emergency room utilization.”
The rule was originally proposed in February and was met with enthusiasm from the home health and private duty home care industries. Home health care providers have already made great strides as partners in MA contracts, and adding non-skilled services opens the door to the growing MA population even further.