For plans offered in 2019, Medicare Advantage organizations were allowed to provide access to particular benefits for members with certain disease states under what is known as the Uniformity Flexibility (UF) benefit option.
Milliman’s Julia Friedman has reviewed available information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the UF benefit option and found:
- About 3% of Medicare Advantage plans took advantage of the increased flexibility and offered benefits under the UF option in contract year 2019, and most of the plans offering UF are general enrollment plans.
- Of the plans that offered UF, about 27% offered both reduced cost sharing and additional benefits, approximately 44% offered additional benefits only, and the remainder offered reduced cost sharing only.
- The condition most commonly targeted was diabetes. A number of other conditions were also targeted, including congestive heart failure, opioid use disorder, and chronic pain syndrome.
- The most common benefits offered for those with diabetes were professional services, in particular eye exams, and additional benefits such as meals and remote access technologies.
To read more about the UF benefit option, including its background and additional summary results, read Julia’s paper “Medicare Advantage Uniformity Flexibility benefit offerings.”