How many Medicare commercials have you seen this week? Too many to count? Open enrollment is a great time for people to research the options that are available to them, learn about new benefits that are offered and enroll in hopefully the right plans that provide them all the coverage they need for the upcoming year. However, every year there is a new topic that people want to learn more about. For 2022, that topic seems to be a grocery allowance.
Some plans offer a variety of additional benefits we are not used to from our health insurance provider. In this case, a monthly allowance is given out to help cover the costs of over-the-counter medicine as well as healthy groceries. How much? That depends on the provider and the plan but any little bit helps, especially when it comes to covering the costs of food and medicine.
What Is A Grocery Allowance?
The first thing people want to know about the grocery allowance is what is it, really. Actually, it’s just as it sounds, a monthly allowance that you are given to cover certain grocery costs. This mainly focuses on food and healthy foods at that. There are lists you can go over if you are eligible for the benefit and it must be done with grocery store chains that are participating in the benefit. The amount given is announced before you enroll so you can research that plan by plan as well.
It’s important to keep in mind that while a grocery allowance may sound great, it’s not going to cover all your purchases. This is part of the reason why working with an advisor is such a smart way to go. Without being able to see how much you are getting, saving or spending with each plan, you may get a higher allowance but pay way more to get it. Working with an advisor ensures that you are getting the best options as well as the best pricing.
What Is The Money Used On?
While you are able to spend your allowance on groceries, there are limitations on which ones you can buy with these funds. For example, you will have to focus the funds on goods like vegetables, fruits, grains and other healthier choices. You can alsoget this information in more detail online once you know more about the provider and plan you are enrolled in. While the benefit is motivated to help seniors cover rising costs of groceries and medicine, it also is hoping to help encourage healthier diets.
During the past two years, because of the pandemic, many seniors have not been getting the activity or nutrition they need as both have become harder to get during covid. Being unable to get the exercise you need, not being able to socailize in person, seeing medicine and grocery costs skyrocket and more have all made things difficult on seniors around the country.
How Is The Money Distributed?
Those enrollend in the plan are given debit cards so that they can use the cards at various stores rather than having to stick to one or two locations. This also makes it easier for users to keep track with receipts of what they’ve spent each month so that they utilize 100% of the funds. There are limitations on the stores and products that can be purchased. However, because of the increase in costs, especially with healthy foods like produce, the extra money is a major help.
Utilizing the money to cover costs like produce is smart as it’s one of the few options that you cannot buy in bulk to save. By buying in bulk, whether online or in a store, you are able to save on cost per unit as well as stock up, cutting down on the need to buy the item in the upcoming weeks. Because of inflation, this strategy has become even more valuable as the cost of goods have literally gone up each week in some cases. The allowance gives shoppers more flexibility in what they buy, when, where, how and for how much.
How Do I Get The Option?
There are multiple plans that offer these options and other benefits. Each provider has the option to include several perks in different plans that will add to the benefit and value of that individual plan. When you are comparing pricing from different providers, make sure that you are also making a list of different benefits that are offered with each plan. One competitor may be more expensive but they offer a much larger allowance and the difference is actually more economical for you to consider than going with the cheaper option. There are infinite examples of how insurance users have saved big each year because they had additional coverage.
When you consider your healthcare needs, what doctors you frequent, what medications you are on and so forth, along with your financial situation, everyone has different needs and concerns. This is the primary reason why there are so many options with Medicare, to ensure that everyone had the ability to find coverage that fit their needs for both quality care as well as financially. However, without the guidance of an experienced Medicare advisor, it becomes more and more challenging to understand which options are best for you. However, if you are concerned about cost for this service, you should know that it is completely free.
If you were to take the time to call an insurance provider you would be speaking to one of their advisors. By hiring your own advisors, you are not paying more for the plans, but those providers pay your advisor instead. That’s why the service is free, as there is no difference or benefit in enrolling yourself or using an advisor except for one, that is the experience and guidance of someone who can help you to get the coverage you need, at a price you are comfortable with.
Why not give yourself as many advantages as you can when enrolling in Medicare. If you are interested in learning more about the grocery allowance or have any other questions concerning enrollment, contact an advisor today and receive a free consultation.
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