Briefs & Reports

Issue Brief Outlines Medicare Advantage Supplemental Benefit Flexibilities

An HMA-authored issue brief examines beneficiary access to, and plan adoption of, newly expanded Medicare Advantage (MA) supplemental benefit flexibilities and raises questions regarding the expected impacts of new supplemental benefit offerings on beneficiary satisfaction, outcomes, and total cost of care.

The new flexibilities for MA plans include innovative supplemental benefits offered through expansion of primarily health-related benefits, benefits offered non-uniformly, Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID), and Special Supplemental Benefits for the Chronically Ill (SSBCI).

The brief’s key finding is that enrollment in plans offering these flexibilities is relatively low and varies across geographic areas with 19% of all MA enrollees enrolled in a plan that offered at least one expanded supplemental benefit.  HMA will conduct additional analyses including interviews with key stakeholders to inform the policy community on the opportunities and challenges with the adoption and implementation of new supplemental benefits

This brief was produced by HMA Managing Principals Jonathan Blum and Mary Hsieh, Principal Eric Hammelman, and Senior Consultant Narda Ipakchi under a grant from Arnold Ventures.

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