This week we are reading about policy options for improving dental coverage, Blue Shield of California’s new Medigap Plan G Extra, and Humana’s new telehealth program for its Medicare Advantage members.

Policy Options for Improving Dental Coverage for People on Medicare | Henry Kaiser Family Foundation | September 18, 2019

Since its inception, Medicare, the national health insurance program for more than 60 million older adults and younger people with long-term disabilities, has explicitly excluded coverage of dental services, with limited exceptions. Some Medicare beneficiaries have access to dental coverage through other sources, such as Medicare Advantage plans, Medicaid, or private plans. Nearly two-thirds of the Medicare population – 37 million beneficiaries – have no dental coverage at all.


This issue brief begins with a review of dental coverage permitted under current Medicare law to set the context for understanding proposals that could improve oral health coverage for the Medicare population. It reviews a range of policy options that could make dental care more affordable, examines basic policy features associated with each proposal, and discusses potential implications for key stakeholders, including Medicare beneficiaries, taxpayers, insurers, and dental professionals.

Read the full brief on here.

Blue Shield of California Provides Medicare Beneficiaries More Benefits with New Medicare Supplement Plan G Extra | PR Newswire | September 16, 2019

Blue Shield of California announced its new Medicare Supplement Plan G Extra, the latest addition to its Medicare Supplement plan portfolio that offers innovative services such as coverage for over-the-counter items, access to physicians via smartphones and a gym membership at no additional cost. Blue Shield’s Medicare Supplement Plan G Extra is available to Medicare beneficiaries throughout California that’s designed to be affordable.

Read the full press release on here.

Humana Launches Telehealth Program for Seniors in Medicare Advantage | mHealth Intelligence | September 19, 2019

As many as 250 Medicare Advantage members and their family caregivers in 34 states will have access to telehealth services through a connected health partnership aimed at keeping seniors out of assisted living facilities and in their own homes.


Humana announced the partnership this week with Seniorlink, a Boston-based provider of digital health solutions for at-home care. The six-month Virtual Care Team pilot will enable participants to connect with Humana at Home care team members through Seniorlink’s Vela mHealth platform to improve communication and care management. The program is designed for seniors with chronic health concerns and other functional challenges who want to remain in their homes longer.

Read the full article on here.