Get a Monthly Allowance for Groceries with a Healthy Food Card

Health Compare

Health Compare
Feb 1, 2023

Did you know you may have a qualifying condition that makes you eligible for a grocery allowance that you can use to buy healthy food?

What is the Medicare Grocery Allowance?

To help lower the costs of healthy food for individuals who live on limited income and resources, many Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans offer an allowance for eligible groceries.

TIP: Did you know that you can use our plan finder to [discover Medicare plans] that include more of the nutritional and healthcare services you may need such as an allowance for eligible groceries? Or, call today to speak with a Licensed Sales Agent to see if you qualify and who can answer your Medicare Advantage questions: 877-882-1927.

Who Qualifies for a healthy food allowance?

Is there a grocery benefit for Medicare recipients? Here are a few tips on who may qualify for an allowance for eligible groceries.

  • Dual-eligible Special Needs Plan (D-SNP) participants.
  • Having a qualifying health condition including cancer, obesity, end-stage renal disease.

Check with your plan to see if you qualify.

What is the grocery allowance benefit?

Learn more about the Medicare Advantage plans that include a healthy food allowance (formally healthy food card):

  • Eligible members get a grocery allowance
  • Buy healthy food online or in person
  • Shop at plan-approved stores like Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, Kroger
  • Some plans may cover meal delivery services

How can you lower the costs of your groceries and still get the nutritious food that will keep you strong and healthy? Consider choosing a Medicare Advantage plan that includes an allowance for healthy food (formally healthy food card).

Where can I shop with a healthy food allowance?

It’s a good idea to verify the participating retailers applicable to your plan.

For example, here are some retailers that may accept most healthy food cards:

  • CVS
  • Walgreens
  • Family Dollar
  • Dollar General
  • Walmart
  • Kroger
  • Publix
  • HEB
  • Vons
  • Aldi
  • Costco

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What Can I Buy With My Healthy Food Allowance

Plan-approved items vary by plan, but often include the following:

  • Fresh fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Dairy, eggs, yogurt
  • Fresh chicken, and poultry products
  • Red meat
  • Deli meat
  • Fresh and frozen fish
  • Bread and other grains
  • Ready-to-eat foods like soup, prepared meals and sandwiches
  • Baking supplies, flour, sugar, mixes for baking, 
  • Spices
  • Condiments, sauces
  • Peanut butter, almond butter
  • Cereal and breakfast foods
  • Coffee, tea, cocoa, juice, bottled water and energy drinks
  • Frozen fruits, vegetables and juices
  • Ice cream, sherbet, frozen yogurt
  • Prepared heat-and-eat foods

If you are interested in getting support building a nutritionally based diet, consider scheduling a session with a nutritionist. Medicare Part B covers nutrition therapy services if you have qualifying health conditions.

Are There Items I Can’t Buy with a grocery allowance?

Top items you can’t buy with a healthy food allowance include:

  • Cigarettes, tobacco and vaping items
  • Pet food and supplies
  • Lottery tickets
  • Household cleaning products
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Fresh flowers
  • Alcohol

Can I Buy Nonfood Items With My Allowance?

Some plans offer dually-eligible beneficiaries the ability to purchase over-the-counter (OTC) products and qualifying groceries. Some Medicare Advantage plans have a separate OTC benefit that you can use at participating pharmacies.

Medicare Plans With Healthy Food Allowance

While Original Medicare and Medicaid programs are available across the United States, access to Medicare Advantage plans, sold by private insurance companies, varies by location. A licensed sales agent can research options and help you navigate plans in your area that offer healthy food benefits. Allowance amounts cannot be combined with other benefit allowances. Limitations and restrictions may apply.

TIP: Use the Medicare plan finder to find plans that include nutrition benefits and compare them against your existing coverage.

Please note that it can be subject to restriction. More information

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