Does Medicare Cover Meal Delivery?

Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans can cover meal delivery as a benefit that’s not covered by Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), but meal delivery might only be covered in limited situations and may not be available in your area. Learn how to compare Medicare Advantage plans to find out what benefits are offered where you live.

While Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) covers meals during an inpatient stay at a hospital or skilled nursing facility, it does not cover meals that are delivered to the home. Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans cover all your Part A and Part B benefits and can offer more benefits than Original Medicare covers.

Medicare Advantage plans that cover benefits such as meal delivery may not be available where you live, so it’s important to compare the plans offered in your ZIP code to find out what benefits are available.

We represent carriers such as Humana, UnitedHealthcare®, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna Healthcare, Wellcare, or Kaiser Permanente.

What is Medicare Advantage?

Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurance companies and cover everything that is covered by Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans offer some additional coverage for benefits not covered by Original Medicare.

Prescription drug coverage, dental care, vision care and/or hearing benefits can be offered by Medicare Advantage plans, though plans that offer one or more of these benefits may not be available where you live.

Plans can also cover things like meal delivery, over the counter (OTC) health items and membership to fitness and wellness programs, though these benefits aren’t available with all plans or in all locations.

Nearly three in four (72 percent) 2024 Medicare Advantage plans include a meal benefit as part of their coverage.1

When do Medicare Advantage plans pay for meal delivery?

Benefits vary from one Medicare Advantage plan to the next, and plan selection varies from one area to another. One plan can offer more extensive coverage of meal delivery than another, or it may not cover the service at all.

Plans that cover meal delivery may partner with Meals on Wheels or other third-party organizations that provide the service. 

It’s important to note that plans offering a meal delivery benefit might limit coverage to beneficiaries who have been recently discharged from an inpatient hospital or skilled nursing facility inpatient stay. Such a plan might cover a pre-determined number of meals to be delivered to your home while you are recovering from your hospital stay.

You may need to spend a minimum number of days at the hospital or skilled nursing facility to qualify for a meal delivery benefit.

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Finding local resources

There may be non-Medicare resources available in your community that can help you find home-delivered meals.


Medicaid benefits differ by state. Some, but not all, state Medicaid programs include coverage of home-delivered meals for qualifying individuals who are homebound and unable to prepare meals on their own. Reach out to your state Medicaid program for more information.


Some people aged 55 and older qualify for PACE, or the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly. This program, funded by both Medicaid and Medicare, provides various services to help older adults live safely within their communities. Meal delivery or meal preparation may be an included service with certain PACE programs in some areas.


The Administration for Community Living (ACL) connects seniors with a variety of community services, and meal delivery may be among them in some communities. Use the ACL Elder Care Locator to find out about any meal delivery services in your community. 

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels eligibility rules vary by state, but those who qualify can receive low-cost or even free meals delivered to their home. 

Find Medicare Advantage plans that cover meal delivery.

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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. 15, 2023). Medicare Advantage 2024 Spotlight: First Look. Kaiser Family Foundation.