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Six Ways to Stretch Your Medicare Dollars: Look For a Plan That Gives You a Monthly Allowance To Spend on Groceries and More

By Bruno Piquin, President CarePlus Health Plans

October 27, 2022

If you’re eligible for Medicare, selecting a 2023 Medicare plan that helps you maximize your healthcare dollars is especially important during the current economically challenging times.

The good news is that it is possible to stretch your healthcare dollars by finding a Medicare Advantage plan that offers extra benefits and services. According to the Better Medicare Alliance, members of Medicare Advantage plans reported saving nearly $2,000 a year, while experiencing better health outcomes. And the time to shop is now. During Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period from Saturday, October 15th, 2022 to Wednesday, December 7th, 2022, people eligible for Medicare select a plan for coverage taking effect on Sunday, January 1st, 2023.

If you want to save money and still get quality healthcare, consider these options when shopping for your 2023 Medicare Advantage plan:

Plans that put money back in your pocket – Did you know you may be able to add money to your Social Security check by selecting a Medicare plan that offers a premium giveback? You can also save money on select over-the-counter products, such as cold medicines, if the plan offers a monthly allowance.

Help paying for groceries, rent, utilities, and more – If you’re eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, look for a plan that gives you a monthly allowance to spend on groceries, rent, utilities and even pet care.

Dental, hearing and vision coverage – Taking care of your dental, hearing and vision needs is important to your overall health. When researching plans, be sure to ask: What are the copays for going to the dentist and the eye doctor? Is there an allowance to buy dentures, hearing aids and eyeglasses?

Transportation – Does the plan offer free rides to medical appointments? There are plans available that provide rides to see your primary care doctor, specialists, and to have lab work done.

Fitness and wellness benefits – Once you identify your basic health needs, think about what else is important to your overall health and well-being. For example, if you like to exercise, look for a plan that includes a fitness benefit. For example, many Medicare Advantage plans include gym memberships. Some plans also offer in-person and virtual health and wellness classes, and even reward you with gift cards for completing certain healthy activities.

Extra features for individual needs - If you have a chronic health condition, such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or heart disease, you may find a plan specifically designed to care for that condition, while adding dollars back to your Social Security check. And, if you’re a Veteran, look for a plan designed to complement VA health care by covering services at non-VA facilities, including dental coverage, transportation and fitness classes.

As you shop for your Medicare plan, I encourage you to look for ways to maximize your healthcare coverage, while minimizing your costs, to help ensure the healthiest you in 2023.

To learn more about your options, visit: Or call: 1 (800) MEDICARE (800) 633-4227; TTY Or TDD users should call: 1 (877) 486-2048, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For information about CarePlus Medicare Advantage plans, visit:, visit: (SP) or speak with a licensed CarePlus sales agent by calling: 1 (855) 450-1352 (TTY: 711). Hours of operation: Saturday, October 1st, 2022 - Friday, March 31st, 2022 7 days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. April 1 - September 30, Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. You may leave a voicemail after hours, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays and we will return your call within one business day.

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