Medicare Advantage’s additional benefits

Let’s take a look at some of Medicare Advantage’s additional benefits.

Vision care

Original Medicare only covers "necessary care" as it relates to vision. That means it only corresponds to serious situations, such as vision-related illness.

Medicare Advantage plans may often go beyond that. Some may offer eye exam and eyewear benefits.

Transportation services

Several Medicare Advantage insurance companies may offer free "on-demand" transportation to doctor appointments if you qualify for an SNP plan by having Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, you live in the plan’s service are, and you meet the requirements for either a Dual Eligible SNP, Chronic Condition SNP, or Institutional SNP. These services usually work by providing an allotment to use for Uber or Lyft.

Alignment, Blue Shield of California, Humana and Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield are companies with this transportation benefit in some areas. Amerigroup provides some of its Medicare Advantage plan participants up to 60 one-way trips per year to health-related appointments or to obtain a service covered by the health plan. Anthem, too, boasts "services to help members get to doctor appointments and other healthcare visits."

Grocery benefits

Several healthcare companies may also offer added benefits to address food insecurity.

Alignment Healthcare is among the Medicare Advantage healthcare companies with this add-on. The option gives some qualifying members a $10 to $20 per month grocery benefit to use at participating stores, such as CVS, Walgreens and Walmart.

Healthy food deliveries

A growing problem for many Americans is access to healthy food. Some Medicare Advantage insurers may include food deliveries in their plans.

Anthem said that its wellness services options include a prescribed meal plan of two meals per day for 90 days delivered to the home where available. It is "based on qualifying clinical criteria, health plan consumer receives a prescription for meals and periodic appointments with a registered dietitian."

Amerigroup announced that it'll add up to 16 delivered meals four times each calendar year to support members who are either discharged from an overnight stay at a hospital, have a Body Mass Index (BMI) more than 25 or less than 18 or has an A1C level more than 9.0 where available.

Whalen said this benefit can especially help people who live alone.

Chiropractic services

Original Medicare doesn’t usually cover this holistic application to healing. However, some Medicare Advantage plans offer visits to the chiropractor as one of its additional benefits.

SCAN Health’s plan, as an example, covers most routine visits to the chiropractor through American Specialty Health MA option.

Dental care

Similar to vision care, dental coverage has been a long-standing added benefit in several Medicare Advantage plans. Original Medicare usually doesn’t offer dental care coverage.

This Medicare Advantage benefit varies greatly. Many Advantage plans may include some level of dental care. Some may cover cleanings, oral exams, X-rays, root canals, extractions, fillings, crowns, bridges, implants and dentures.

Fitness Programs

Physical activity and exercise is a key component to Medicare Advantage benefits. It is specifically addressed with the fitness program benefit.

Fitness programs promote exercise. These programs often offers no-cost gym memberships, fitness classes and a fitness app.

"They will actually pay for your gym membership as long as your fitness center participates and is contracted with the Advantage plan," explained Whalen.

Prescription drugs

Most Medicare Advantage Plans include prescription drug coverage.

Alignment Healthcare reports that it offers nearly 500 commonly used generic drugs at no copay for most plans.

"One of the real perks to having an Advantage plan is that most plans wrap the prescription drug benefit with the medical benefits," said Whalen, "so the member is able to have a ‘one-stop-shop.’ The member is only required to carry one card, which provides them with their medical coverage and prescription drug coverage housed with the same carrier."

Personal home helper and house calls

Many Medicare Advantage insurers are adding a benefit of a "personal home helper.” Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut is adding, "up to 124 hours of an in-home personal care aide for assistance with activities of daily living, such as dressing, grooming and bathing" where available.

A similar benefit included in several Medicare Advantage plans is one that provides wellness visits. Several top plans offer programs such as this, which may help to make it easier for enrollees to get needed care, tests and treatment.

Compare Medicare Advantage plans

No matter what Medicare Advantage plan you choose, make sure you shop and compare before signing up.

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period runs from October 15 to December 7. 

While most Medicare beneficiaries will need to wait until then to make plan changes, those with special circumstances, as well as consumers new to Medicare, may qualify sooner. You can shop and compare Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans at Plan Compare or call 800-Medicare.


  1. Forbes. “Despite Scrutiny, Health Insurers Already Looking To Expand Medicare Advantage For 2023.” Accessed August 2022.
  2. The Chartis Group. In a Shifting Market, Medicare Advantage Shows Continued Growth.” Accessed September 2023.

Medicare Advantage and Part D plans and benefits offered by the following carriers: Accendo, ACE-Chubb, Aetna Medicare, AFLAC, Allstate - National General, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aspire Health Plan, Capitol, Centene Corporation,  Cigna-HealthSpring, Dean Health Plan, Devoted Health, GlobalHealth, Health Care Service Corporation, Humana, Lumico - Elips, Manhattan Life - MAC, Molina Healthcare, Mutual of Omaha, Oscar Health Insurance, Premera Blue Cross, Medica Central Health Plan, SCAN Health Plan, Scott and White Health Plan now part of Baylor Scott & White Health, UnitedHealthcare®

Disclaimer: is not affiliated with or endorsed by the government or Federal Medicare program. Plans are insured or covered by a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract and/or a Medicare approved Part D sponsor. Enrollment in the plan depends on the plan’s contract renewal with Medicare. We do not offer every plan available in your area. Currently we represent 10 organizations which offer 100 products in your area. Please contact, 1800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) to get information on all of your options. Not all plans offer all of these benefits. Benefits and availability may vary by carrier and location. Limitations and exclusions may apply. Every year, Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system. Part B Premium give-back is not available with all plans. Actual Part B premium reduction could be lower. Deductibles, copays and coinsurance may apply. Enrollment in the described plan type may be limited to certain times of the year unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.