Embracing diverse senior benefits is not just a strategic move for Medicare carriers – it's a commitment to enhancing the overall well-being of the senior community.
Almost 65 million Americans rely on Medicare to receive quality medical care and are looking for Medicare carriers to offer a wider range of senior benefits. Medicare beneficiaries are often ages 65 years and older, but 8 million younger adults look to medicare carriers to assist with their disabilities. Medicare programs can include hospital coverage, primary care provider visits, and basic resources to assist with chronic conditions.
These basic resources have been available in America since 1965, but the needs of beneficiaries have evolved and shifted in the past 50+ years. Medicare Advantage plans have extended Medicare health insurance to include prescription drug plans and vision plans. Medicare beneficiaries, however, often want more than the basic Medicare and Medicaid services, such as fitness and mental health resources.
Current Medicare offerings
In the realm of Medicare offerings, a notable shift is underway as carriers attempt to fill the gap between medical care and physical health. A growing number of Medicare beneficiaries are turning to these carriers to provide fitness benefits that support their holistic health needs.
However, it’s important to acknowledge that some Medicare carriers have not grown in pace with the evolving needs of beneficiaries. Whether influenced by lifestyle factors or social determinants of health, some individuals find challenges accessing benefits Medicare carriers provide. Limited options for facilities, gyms, and programs can be especially challenging for those in distant neighborhoods or with unique accessibility needs.
The value of diverse senior benefits
Medicare carriers must evolve with the dynamic needs of their members. Beyond the immediate advantage of increased choices and accessibility for Medicare users, carriers stand to gain from discovering four notable benefits:
1. Long-term medical cost savings
Medicare carriers may save upfront costs by including accessible fitness resources in their programs. However, by not encouraging physical activity, they may be increasing their medical costs. About 80% of American adults do not meet the physical activity guidelines for a healthy lifestyle. This includes 28% of adults over the age of 50.
Those that stay active reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, breast cancer, and other health conditions. These health issues require expensive treatment and medical care, which would be at the cost of Medicare carriers. The CDC found that “Inadequate levels of physical activity are associated with $117 billion in annual healthcare costs.” Medicare carriers can save these medical costs and further care for their beneficiaries with a diverse offering of fitness benefits.
2. Increased member satisfaction
Those enrolled in Medicare want to know that their health is prioritized and cared for. By offering a range of benefits that cater to their diverse needs, members will feel their health is a top priority. This not only fosters member satisfaction but also contributes to increased retention, as members will look to receive quality care from a Medicare carrier that continuously meets their evolving needs and expectations.
3. Improved star rating
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have a star rating system to help users compare Medicare programs. Medicare programs are ranked on a scale of five stars based on factors such as, member experience, member retention, customer service, and assistance in maintaining good health.
Before the star rating system, comparing Medicare plans was extremely difficult for potential beneficiaries. Medicare users want to make the best decision for their health. However, the complexities of Medicare plans hindered beneficiaries' ability to choose the best program for them and Medicare carriers’ chance to be considered by a potential user. The star rating system allows users to easily compare plans and have confidence in their Medicare health plan.
Diverse senior benefits that allow flexibility in a beneficiary's fitness programs, facilities, and care for their holistic needs can increase a carrier's star rankings. It will boost customer satisfaction, expand a user's ability to maintain good health, and overall improve Medicare beneficiaries' experience. A high star rating will increase a carrier's chance of being considered by users and will help users find a program that suits their needs.
4. Expanded membership
Medicare users are used to seeing the same types of health care programs available. After considering a large number of Medicare carriers, the repetitive programs can start to look the same. Medicare carriers that expand and diversify their programs can stand out amongst the crowd. Not only will users notice a higher star ranking, but an innovative fitness program will also keep their attention, and persuade them to choose a program that stands out from the rest.
What do diverse senior benefits look like?
Looking beyond conventional Medicare coverage is crucial to providing varied benefits. There are a few key aspects of diverse benefits that not only capture a user's attention but also enhance star ratings.
Flexibility - Medicare users need benefits that fit their lifestyles. Flexibility can be offered through telemedicine, digital workout classes, and a wider range of in-person fitness facilities. Beneficiaries appreciate the choice between going to a larger gym, an independently owned dance studio, or a streaming service that offers classes.
Accessibility - Every Medicare user has their own needs. Some Medicare beneficiaries can regularly go to fitness classes and use a gym membership. Others need assistance with transportation or participating within the class or facility.
Basic medical plans do not always address these individual needs. Addressing transportation needs, disability accessibility, and still giving each member the freedom to choose what works best for them with a flexible fitness, nutrition, and health program provides a sense of care that other plans don’t offer.
Freedom - When Medicare benefits include diverse choices, they give control back to the beneficiary. Beneficiaries don’t have to be confined but can choose for themselves what type of program fits their life best. That’s exactly what FitOn Health aims to do. FitOn Health puts the beneficiary in charge of what they take part in, what they change about their fitness routine, and what stays the same.
Quality care - Diverse benefits stand out amongst the rest because it shows that carriers care for their users. Medicare users don’t want to be treated like a number that uses the same facility as every other user.
Beneficiaries want to receive quality, individualized care. Diversified, multifaceted benefits do exactly that! They keep a Medicare beneficiary in charge, make sure they are cared for while benefiting the Medicare carrier along the way.
Embracing diverse senior benefits is not just a strategic move for Medicare carriers – it's a commitment to enhancing the overall well-being of the senior community. From improved member satisfaction to the potential for market expansion – it’s clear that a nuanced approach to healthcare is not only desirable but necessary. By recognizing and meeting the unique needs of senior members, not only will you elevate their quality of life but also position yourselves as leaders in the evolving landscape of Medicare.
Ready to explore the possibilities? Learn more about how FitOn Health can support diverse senior benefits to transform the Medicare landscape.
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