In elder law blog, Elder Law News

Courier delivering bag of groceries to smiling senior woman.According to a recent study published by Alignment Health, there are three major issues that affect quality of life for older Americans:

  • securing reliable transportation,

  • finding financial stability, and

  • getting access to high-quality, nutritious food

To help address the issue of food insecurity, grocery delivery company Instacart will be rolling out new support services dedicated to seniors in 2024.

What Is Food Insecurity?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, households facing food insecurity are “uncertain of having or unable to acquire enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they had insufficient money or other resources for food.”

Food insecurity is a serious problem across the country. In 2021, 10 percent of all Americans lived without access to proper nutrition.

The problem may be getting worse for seniors. As of 2021, 5.5 million people aged 60 and older – or about one in 14 older Americans – were struggling with hunger.

What Does Instacart Have Planned?

Instacart is a grocery delivery service that seeks to make getting food, medication, and home essentials convenient for its customers.

Through its senior support system, Instacart Health, the company plans to start addressing some of the major barriers that seniors face in accessing healthy food. It will partner with Alignment Health, a Medicare Advantage company, and payment technology firm InComm Payments, to work toward this goal, beginning in 2024.

Payments With Supplemental Health Benefits Cards

Starting in 2024, Instacart will allow its senior customers to use their supplemental health benefit cards to pay for its grocery fee services. Benefits will extend to Medicare Advantage enrollees, Medicaid recipients, and seniors participating in other eligible programs.

Qualifying seniors will be able to use money from an applicable plan to pay for their groceries, over-the-counter medications, and wellness essentials, along with delivery, through Instacart. A partnership with InComm Payments is making this possible.

Alignment Health Partnership

In addition, Instacart and Alignment Health will begin working together in 2024 to get eligible seniors with chronic illness the essentials they need to lead healthier lives.

Instacart’s services will be considered a supplemental health benefit for qualifying seniors in select California and Nevada counties who enroll in certain Medicare Advantage plans through Alignment Health.

Alignment Health works to connect seniors with a personal guide to the health care system who in turn helps the senior access transportation, doctor’s appointments, and other assistance.

The Instacart benefits will cover some grocery costs, the timely delivery of groceries, and other essentials. Seniors who enroll will have more choices for where they get their food, medications, and essentials so they can maintain or regain a sense of independence in their later years.

“We believe everyone should have the dignity of choice to shop for nutritious food and essentials that meet their unique preferences, needs, and budgets,” Sarah Mastrorocco, vice president and general manager of Instacart Health said in a news release.

Eligible older adults will be able to sign up during this fall’s Medicare open enrollment period.

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