Almost 45 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 7 million young adults look to medicare carriers to assist with their permanent disabilities. Medicare programs 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 need more than the basic Medicare and Medicaid services. Those in need of Medicare benefits may not be able to access fitness and mental health resources as easily as those under other insurance programs.

Current Medicare Offerings

Medicare carriers have started to fill the gap between medical care and physical health. Many Medicare beneficiaries turn to Medicare carriers to provide fitness benefits so that they can meet their physical health needs. 

Medicare carriers have not grown in pace with Medicare beneficiaries' evolution of needs. Whether it be a person's lifestyle or social determinants of health, they may not be able to access the benefits Medicare carriers provide. Medicare carriers often have limited choices of facilities, gyms, and programs. These few choices may be inaccessible for those in distant neighborhoods or with disabilities that cannot take part, in addition to those looking for a variety. 

Medicare carriers must evolve with the needs of their members. Not only will Medicare users see the benefits of more choices and accessibility, but Medicare carriers also will discover these 4 most prominent benefits: 

Medical Costs 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 treatments 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. 

Increase Member Satisfaction

Those enrolled in Medicare want to know that their health is prioritized and cared for. Members will get this feeling with diverse benefits that provide freedom while meeting their needs. This can increase member retention, as they will want to continue receiving quality care from a Medicare carrier that continuously meets their needs and satisfies their wants. 

Improve Star Rating

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have released a star rating system to help users compare Medicare programs. Medicare programs are ranked on a scale of five stars based on 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 hindered 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 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 increase customer satisfaction, increase a user's ability to maintain good health, and will improve the Medicare beneficiaries' experience overall. 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. 

Entice More Members 

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 Benefits Look Like? 

Looking outside the box of basic Medicare coverage is key to offering diverse benefits. There are a few key points to diverse benefits that catch a user's eye and increase a star rating. 

Flexibility. Medicare users need benefits that fit their lifestyles. They may not be able to commute to a fitness program or fit a specific class into their schedule. When surveying Medicare beneficiaries, more than 25% would like to have telemedicine services included in their health plan.  

Flexibility can be offered through telemedicine, online workout classes, and a wider range of 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 giving each member the freedom to choose what works best for them provides a sense of care that other plans don’t offer. 

Freedom. When Medicare benefits include diverse choices, it gives 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 is exactly what Peerfit Move aims to do. Peerfit Move 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. 

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