Jeff Shell - Headshot Jeff Shell

Jeff Shell is an independent insurance broker specializing in Medicare, Life, and Health Insurance Products. Contact Jeff at The Health Insurance Shoppe, 336-763-0775 or

Why do so many individuals forget about the additional (supplemental) benefits that are included in their Medicare Advantage (MA) plan? These additional benefits may include dental, vision, hearing, transportation, meals, over-the-counter products, and fitness memberships just to name a few! Not taking advantage of these extras could cost an MA member hundreds of dollars in missed savings!

Previously, supplemental benefits had to be “primarily health-related.” However, guidance released in 2018 by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provided a reinterpretation of “primarily health related” to expand the scope and flexibility of benefits. These benefits now take into consideration the whole person as well as other social determinants of health and quality of life metrics. MA plans must cover all the benefits offered by Original Medicare and offer an increasingly larger and more varied assortment of options, services, and plan flexibility than ever before! These additional benefits, not offered in Original Medicare, may help members remain in their own homes, avoid social isolation and lead longer and healthier lives… and many of these MA plans have a $0 dollar monthly premium.

Needs and priorities are different for every individual and change as we age. Dental health becomes increasingly more important as we get older.

For some individuals, hearing aids may be a priority while others focus on the need for vision services and new spectacles! Those who live alone might need the extra safety and security provided by a personal emergency response system (PERS) or transportation and meals after a surgical stay. Some plans even offer over-the-counter quarterly allowances for health related products. Most every MA plan offers a fitness membership to a local health and wellness facility.

Remember, though, that plan benefits can vary greatly. Contact your local insurance professional who represents multiple insurance companies. They will be familiar with all the plan benefits and can provide valuable guidance to compare and contrast available plans that meet individual needs and circumstances. Look for an established company with Certified Senior Advisors (CSA®) who offer FREE consultations.