Open enrollment for 2022 Medicare Advantage (MA) is almost here. Major payers have shared their benefit offerings for the new year. Many of the benefits are related to social determinants of health, such as food insecurity and isolation.Food insecurity is one of the most common social determinants of health. Many factors lead to food insecurity in older adults. They may:
- Live in an area where access to healthy food is limited
- Not have transportation available to go to grocery stores
- Feel anxious about shopping in a public place with COVID-19
- Have functional limitations that make meal preparation difficult
- Have to choose between paying for food or their medication
Per Feeding America’s most recent report, The State of Senior Hunger in America, 5.2 million older adults were food insecure in 2019. Many key nutrients needed for good health are lower in the diets of food-insecure seniors. Also, they are more likely to have chronic diseases such as depression, diabetes, and congestive heart failure.
Food insecurity also leads to malnutrition in older adults. 1 out of 2 seniors is at risk for malnutrition. Malnutrition causes more complications, falls, and hospital readmissions in this vulnerable population.*
Having a meal benefit available in MA plans allows your members to eat more nutritious foods. The 2022 benefit plans include a variety of nutrition options. Offering prepared meals addresses many of the above factors that lead to food insecurity in older adults.
- Healthy meals can be delivered anywhere
- Member doesn’t need to worry about transportation or being in a public place
- The only preparation involved is heating the meal in an oven or microwave
- The member can have both nutritious meals and their medication
When the new plan year begins, consider authorizing prepared meals from GA Foods for your eligible members. One advantage that sets us apart is our delivery model. In most areas, we deliver our meals using our own specially-trained delivery care team. They will take the box into the member’s home and assist with putting the meals and additional items away. They can also perform wellness checks. Our delivery care team develops connections with the members, which helps with social isolation.
Our mission is simple - Nourishment. Delivered. We go beyond providing meals. It is about partnering with you to ensure excellent outcomes for your members that address their social determinants of health.
To schedule an In-Service, please go here!
Looking for a CEU? Learn more about malnutrition in older adults, contact us about our webinar that offers 1 CEU for case managers.