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Does Medicare Pay For Meal Delivery?

  • Medicare with Melissa

Imagine a scenario where you or a loved one, due to age or health conditions, find it challenging to prepare meals every day. In such a situation, a meal delivery service can be a lifesaver. But does Medicare pay for meal delivery? It’s a critical issue, as it directly influences your access to nutritious meals if you’re a senior or under certain health conditions. Keep reading to learn more about Medicare’s coverage for meal delivery and what other options could be available for you.

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Medicare and Meal Delivery

The short answer to whether Medicare covers meal delivery is not usually. Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) doesn’t cover meal delivery services. However, like many things in life, there are exceptions to this rule, mostly tied to certain health circumstances and the type of Medicare plan you have.

If you’re admitted as an inpatient in a hospital or a skilled nursing facility (SNF), Medicare Part A will cover your meals. Just be aware that Medicare doesn’t provide coverage for meal delivery services to any other location besides hospitals and SNFs.  

Fortunately, there’s a potential solution available through Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C). These plans encompass a wide range of coverage, including Medicare Part A, Part B, and often Part D. Additionally, they can provide supplementary benefits, such as meal delivery in specific circumstances.

Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage Plans are health insurance plans offered by private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare. These plans provide an alternative way to receive Medicare benefits. Instead of receiving coverage directly from the government through Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), beneficiaries have the option to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Medicare Advantage Plans are required to offer at least the same level of coverage as Original Medicare, but they often provide additional benefits as well. These plans typically include Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance) coverage, and many also include Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) within the plan.

Medicare Advantage Plans may also offer extra benefits beyond what Original Medicare covers, such as vision, dental, hearing, and wellness programs. Some plans even provide coverage for transportation to medical appointments and meal delivery services.

It’s important to note that many Medicare Advantage Plans have their own network of doctors and hospitals, so you may need to use these network providers to receive the full benefits of the plan. For more information about Medicare Advantage Plans, please call 866-MEDIGAP (866-633-4427).

Other Options for Meal Delivery Assistance

If you find that your Medicare plan doesn’t cover meal delivery or you don’t qualify for it under the outlined conditions, don’t despair. Several other programs and services can assist with meal delivery, especially if you have specific health conditions. Here are a few of these options to consider.


Medicaid is a state and federal program that assists with medical costs for some people with limited income and resources. It also offers benefits not normally covered by Medicare, like nursing home care and personal care services. In some cases, Medicaid can cover home-delivered meals if you qualify for home and community-based services. The specific services covered by Medicaid can vary by state, so you’ll need to check with your state’s Medicaid program to determine if meal delivery services are covered.


PACE is a joint Medicare and Medicaid program that provides comprehensive medical and social services to certain frail, community-dwelling elderly individuals, most of whom are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid benefits. An interdisciplinary team of health professionals provides PACE participants with coordinated care. For most participants, the comprehensive service package enables them to remain in the community rather than receive care in a nursing home. Depending on your individual circumstances and location, PACE may offer meal delivery services.


The ACL is a government organization dedicated to enabling older adults and people with disabilities to live independently. Through programs like the Nutrition Services Incentive Program (NSIP), the ACL helps provide nutritious meals to older adults. While this often takes the form of group meals in a community setting, many local ACL programs also offer home-delivered meals, especially for individuals who can’t regularly leave their homes.

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels is a national organization that delivers nutritious meals to seniors in nearly every community across the United States. While it’s not a government program, Meals on Wheels operates with the help of millions of volunteers, and it’s an excellent resource for seniors who need assistance with meal delivery. Meals on Wheels programs often operate on a sliding scale, meaning they’ll work with you to determine a cost that fits within your budget.


While Original Medicare doesn’t usually cover meal delivery, you’re not without options. Whether it’s through Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicaid, PACE, ACL, or Meals on Wheels, there’s a good chance you can find the help you need.

Remember, each of these options comes with its own set of criteria, so it’s important to thoroughly investigate each possibility. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider, Medicare, Medicaid, PACE, ACL, Meals on Wheels, or a licensed agent for more information. After all, good nutrition is an essential part of maintaining your health and wellness.

If you still have questions about Medicare coverage for meal delivery or Medicare plans, give us a call at 866-MEDIGAP (866-633-4427). At Senior Healthcare Solutions, we’re here to help you with all your Medicare needs. So, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need further assistance.

Meet Melissa MacCalla

Medicare is not simple and can be hard, frustrating, and downright confusing for most. I love when I get someone on the phone and I am given the opportunity to explain the difference in plans to them and have Medicare make sense. I enjoy talking to clients year after year, hearing about their families growing or them asking about mine.


Oh my gosh!! I was so confused about the Medicare Supplement process. I am turning 65 soon and am retired and have always had insurance thru my former employer. I didn’t know a thing about going on Medicare and was struggling to sort it all out.

A friend of mine recommended contacting Senior HealthCare Solutions, so I did. Melissa was FANTASTIC!! She was professional, responsive, caring and friendly. She explained the steps I needed to take, gathered my information, helped me choose good plans for MY specific needs and took care of my applications over the phone. 1-2-3, eesy-peesy and I was done!! And it didn’t cost me a DIME!!! WOW!!! I HIGHLY recommend Senior Healthcare Solutions for anyone who’s overwhelmed with making the right choices with Medicare Supplemental Insurance and Rx coverage. It’ll take a load off your mind!

Janice W.

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