Maintaining a healthy diet is critical for keeping your body in optimal health, and getting to the grocery store to shop for food items can be more difficult as you get older. Impaired mobility not only makes it more difficult to get to a store, it can also make it harder to carry grocery bags, maneuver around the house, cook in the kitchen, and more. All of these issues can make it more difficult to get the nutrition your body requires. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan and you fit the required criteria, you may qualify for a meal assistance program, such as Meals on Wheels, to help you obtain the food you need.
What Meal Delivery Programs are Available?
There are a few various meal delivery services that may be available, such as Meals on Wheels. This program aims to help older adults obtain the nutrition they need if they are not able to get it themselves due to a severe health issue or disability.
Meals on Wheels has about 5,000 programs across the United States, allowing them to help individuals all over the country. Each year, this program is able to help feed more than 2.4 million people. This program generally runs on a sliding payment scale, meaning that no one will get turned away from the program due to financial reasons.
In addition to the sliding scale payment option, some Meals on Wheels programs will also accept food stamps as a form of payment and may also offer additional services, such as transportation or pet food supply. The exact program available to you depends on your location, so you should be sure to look into it if you require assistance obtaining food.
In addition to Meals on Wheels, there are other meal delivery programs available as well. Many of these are government sponsored and are funded through insurance plans. If you are limited financially, Medicaid may be a viable option for you, which offers a number of meal delivery services if you qualify.
Does Medicare Offer Coverage for Meal Delivery Services?
Original Medicare Part A and Part B includes coverage for many medical services, but meal delivery is not generally included. Many Medicare recipients choose to get their Part A and Part B benefits through a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C). Many Medicare Advantage plans include additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage, vision and dental care, and even meal delivery services.
Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies, and costs and coverage may vary. Compare the plans available in your area to find the plan that suits your individual needs. If you suffer from a serious illness or injury, have a physical problem that reduces your mobility, have certain mental health disorders, or frequently require emergency medical care, you may qualify for care from Meals on Wheels or another meal delivery service.
It is important to note that these situations do not cover all individuals and that you must be able to demonstrate extreme need for the program in order to qualify for its use. Additionally, you may only qualify for meal delivery on a temporary basis. If your physical condition improves, such as following a surgery, or if your disease or condition improves, you may only be able to utilize the program for a limited time.
If you do feel that you qualify or that you or a loved one requires or could benefit from a meal delivery service, be sure to check with your specific provider. These programs are available only on a case-by-case basis, but they can be very beneficial for those individuals who truly require and qualify for them.