You read the title of this column correctly. Many Medicare plans are launching reward and incentive plans. Points earned can be redeemed for prizes or gift cards. Incentives are awarded for healthy activities that result in positive health outcomes. You could earn points for:
- Completing an Annual Wellness Visit(AWV)
- Tobacco cessation
- Maintaining a certain Body Mass Index (BMI)
- Diabetes screening tests
- Cardiovascular disease screenings
- Cholesterol level screenings
- Other Screening tests and specified vaccinations
Recent Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) guidance to Medicare plan sponsors gives plans and your primary physician more control over when some health incentives may be earned. Now incentive or points may be awarded at the start of an activity or at other times during a required activity. Limits on monetary incentives also were lifted. The plans I reviewed offered points that you may redeem for items via a website. The guidance allows plans to offer gift cards as well. Reward and incentive plans are optional, so not every Medicare plan sponsor has or will offer them.
So during the next Medicare open enrollment season, or if you become newly eligible for Medicare, you may want to inquire if the Medicare plans you are considering offer a rewards and incentive program.