THURSDAY, Sept. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Starting next year, Medicare Advantage members can take advantage of a host of new benefits that go beyond regular medical care.

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Some of these benefits include carpet shampooing, food for service dogs, pest control and rides to a nutritionist, the Associated Press, reported.

These added extras are a push to keep people healthy rather than just treating them when they’re sick. The idea is that preventing illness is less expensive than treating it.

For example, carpet shampooing might be covered to help people with asthma avoid a flare-up that sends them in an emergency room.

The new benefits will only be in Medicare Advantage plans, not regular Medicare and insurers don’t have to offer them, the AP notes.

Medicare Advantage already has extras that regular Medicare doesn’t, such as dental benefits and gym memberships. On the other hand, Medicare Advantage can limit access to a network of doctors and hospitals, something regular Medicare doesn’t do.

Enrollment starts October 15 and runs to December 7. During the period, you can switch to another Medicare Advantage plan or regular Medicare and add prescription drug coverage.

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