Medical Card System Inc. confirmed that more than 85% of its existing Classicare Members have qualified for one or more special supplemental benefits available under their Medicare Advantage coverage for 2020 and have received letters notifying them of their eligibility.
MCS is the only Medicare Advantage plan in Puerto Rico to receive approval from the federal government to offer this combination of improved benefits, it said.
Special Supplemental Benefits are benefits or services that, although not directly considered clinical care, have a positive impact on health and cater to the daily routine and social needs of this population.
For example, an MCS healthcare member with diabetes mellitus qualifies to receive special supplemental monetary help that will aid in the purchase of the healthy food needed to control this condition.
The member will also be able to receive special supplemental transportation services to attend doctors’ appointments or supermarkets.
These special supplemental benefits may also include help in the payment of water, electricity and/or telephone, as well as simple repair services at home, based on the product that the beneficiary selects. Since these supplemental benefits are not income, eligibility for traditional benefits such as Medicaid, the Nutritional Assistance Program card, Social Security or housing programs are not affected.
“Since special supplemental benefits are newly implemented by CMS for 2020, it is normal for people to have questions regarding their use and eligibility. For example, many ask why a medical plan is helping pay water, electricity, telephone or groceries. Current health literature shows that these social determinants are essential for good overall physical and mental health,” said Inés Hernández-Roses, chief medical officer at MCS.