Does Medicare Cover Grocery Benefits?

Medicare Advantage plans can offer grocery benefits, though these benefits can be limited and may not be available where you live. Learn more about Medicare Advantage plans, the benefits plans can offer and how to find out if Medicare grocery benefits are available where you live.

Medicare provides health care coverage for adults 65 or older and those with qualifying disabilities. And you might be surprised to know that Medicare Advantage plans – which are sold by private insurance companies – can offer a grocery benefit to those meeting certain qualifications. 

While Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) doesn’t include a grocery benefit, Medicare Advantage plans (also known as Medicare Part C) can offer grocery benefits.

Keep in mind, however, that these benefits may not be available where you live and, in some cases, can be limited to beneficiaries who also have Medicaid or who have a qualifying chronic health condition.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 72 percent of 2024 Medicare Advantage plans include a post-hospitalization meal benefit as part of their coverage.1 Post-hospitalization meal benefits are separate from healthy groceries, and a plan that covers post-hospitalization meals might not pay for groceries.

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Medicare Advantage plans are required to cover everything Original Medicare covers, and they can offer other benefits that aren’t covered by Part A and Part B. It’s important to note these benefits aren’t available with all plans, and some or all of the plans in your area may not offer a grocery benefit.

Request a free plan quote online or call to speak with a licensed insurance agent to find out if plans where you live cover benefits such as coverage for groceries.

It’s important to keep in mind that Original Medicare does not include grocery benefits and does not offer any type of food allowances. Any Medicare Advantage plans that offer a grocery benefit – if any such are available where you live – are private insurance plans that replace your Original Medicare coverage.

What is a grocery benefit?

A grocery benefit is a type of health insurance plan benefit that provides a monthly, quarterly or annual allowance for purchases of approved foods. The list of approved foods can vary from one plan to another but can include things like meats, fruits, vegetables, water and dairy products. Approved foods generally have to meet a minimum standard of nutrition. 

The allowance amount will also vary from plan to plan. Individual plan rules vary. Medicare Advantage plans that offer a grocery benefit may not be available where you live.

What is a healthy food allowance?

Medicare Advantage plans with a grocery benefit typically include a pre-determined healthy food allowance that can be used to buy qualified purchases.

A healthy food allowance or prepaid healthy food card might come with use restrictions or a list of approved retailers that vary with each plan but can include large retail stores like Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Kroger and more. Remember that a Medicare Advantage plan with a healthy food allowance may not be available where you live.

How do I find Medicare Advantage plans?

Request a free online plan comparison or call to speak with a licensed insurance agent and find out which – if any – Medicare Advantage plans available in your area include a grocery benefit. You can also read our Medicare enrollment guide for more information on when and how to enroll.

Compare plans today.

Speak with a licensed insurance agent



About the author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

Christian has written hundreds of articles for that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

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1. Freed M, et al. (Nov. 10, 2022). Medicare Advantage 2023 Spotlight: First Look. ​Kaiser Family Foundation.