How health plans deliver smarter food benefits

by Sifter
,
Judy Seybold
,
MS, RDN, LD, CLC
May 21, 2024
May 21, 2024
The Food as Medicine movement has transformed the health insurance marketplace. Over the past four years, the number of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans offering supplemental benefits to help members buy healthy foods has exploded from 101 plans in 2020 to 1,475 in 2024. That’s a staggering 14-fold increase, according to research by ATI Advisory.

This growth will continue. Starting in 2025, MA plans must offer supplemental benefits that address at least two of three social need areas: transportation, housing, and food. This means more attention to food benefit programs like medically tailored meals (MTMs). Moving forward, health plans will realize even better outcomes by offering more tailored, sustainable food benefits, and Sifter’s Food as Medicine platform is driving this trend.

Sifter technology extends the positive health outcomes of MTMs, making it possible to seamlessly transition plan members from MTMs to medically tailored groceries (MTGs). Sifter allows easy list creation of grocery products that are curated by health condition and available at the member's preferred local food retailer.

Health plans also can use Sifter's custom approved product lists (APLs) to build food benefit cards specifically tailored for a chronic illness, such as kidney disease. The sophistication of Sifter's evidence-based algorithms even allows customization of food benefit programs for members dealing with multiple chronic conditions, namely diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease (cardiovascular-kidney-metabolic syndrome).

Sifter's platform gives today’s health plans enormous potential to drive more personalized and long-term diet modification among their members, leading to improved health outcomes and lower healthcare costs.

Learn more about using Sifter to deliver smarter food benefits →

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