Medicare Healthy Grocery Cards
In 2022 there are a number of Medicare Advantage plans offering Medicare Healthy Grocery Cards. Some advantage plans include the card automatically while others have the card as an option that can be chosen out of a menu. Some SNP Advantage plans have cards with an expanded list of items specific to certain conditions. The blog will review the things agents and members need to know in order to fully utilize the benefit
What can you buy?
As the name implies, the cards allow members to access thousands of healthy food items. Most plans have the option to buy the items in-store at participating retailers. The retailer list will often be different by insurance carrier. Members can use the benefit to purchase items such as fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat, healthy grains and pantry items. Most cards give access to water and vitamins.
Excluded items usually include non-food items, Pet items, alcohol, baby formula , candy chips, coffee, desserts, soda and tobacco. The excluded items list varies by carrier and plan. There are some yummy items on the excluded list but it is a healthy food card.
Agents can quickly see which plans have healthy grocery cards using connecture or sunfire:
Medicare Healthy Grocery Cards: How do you know what is and is not eligible?
Members will receive a welcome packet explaining the types of foods that are eligible. It will also list the excluded items. Most companies also have information on their grocery cards via the website or moble app. The welcome pack will also have information on the eligible retailers. The welcome pack will have a letter and benefit card. Most healthy food cards will be automatically re-loaded monthly or quarterly with the allowance.
How does the card work?
The card will arrive in the mail with the welcome packet (some companies send a separate packet). The amount of eligible monthly or quarterly benefit will be on the card and will refresh automatically. Keep in mind, most plans do not have benefits roll over on a monthly or quarterly basis. In most cases you will lose any amount left over on the card at the end of the quarter or month. Any balance over the allowable amount can be paid seperately.
Medicare Healthy Grocery Cards: Access out of state
Most plans do allow members to access retailers out of their state or service area. In addition, most cards will work when on vacation or travelling.