“Food as medicine” may be coming to a health plan near you.
More states are testing Medicaid programs that’ll provide more people with healthy foods and, potentially, lower health care costs.
Medicaid typically only covers medical expenses, but Arkansas, Oregon and Massachusetts received approval from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last year to use a portion of their Medicaid funds to pay for food programs, including medically tailored meals, groceries and produce prescriptions (fruit and vegetable prescriptions or vouchers provided by medical professionals for people with diet-related diseases or food insecurity). California already was running a food program under a different centers approval. The aim is to see whether providing people with nutritious foods can effectively prevent, manage, and treat diet-related diseases.
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