Thursday, June 20, 2024

Uber Health launches caregiver-focused platform with health benefits insights -Dlight News

Uber Health announced it is introducing Uber Caregiver, an offering that allows users to add a caregiver to their Uber profile to ask for rides and deliveries, track them in real time and pay using the caregiver’s health benefits.

The service, which will be available this summer, will provide caregivers with insights into the care recipients’ benefits, such as the balance of the monthly grocery benefit or remaining rides that are covered.

An Uber account is required to be able to delegate someone as a caregiver. Once accepted, the caregiver can use their caregiver profile to request and track services on behalf of their family member or loved one. 

Caitlin Donovan, global head of Uber Health, told MobiHealthNews in an email that every health plan has different benefits, but care receivers will be able, within the Uber App, to find out whether they have funding sources available to them. 

She noted that for a health plan to enable caregiver support for its members, the plan needs to include Uber in its network for supplemental benefits. 

Where eligible, caregivers can view a loved one’s ancillary healthcare benefits, coordinate services like transportation to a medical appointment or grocery delivery, and help the care-receiver pay in-app using their health benefit cards.

The company said it plans to form partnerships with Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and commercial plans.

Uber also offers a way for older adults or others who need help to request a ride via telephone.

“No smartphone needed; they can just call from a phone with texting capabilities,” Donovan said. “The phone line also supports some health benefits cards.”

She explained the solution is designed to be a “one-stop shop” for caregivers to understand and act on benefit information on behalf of a loved one. 

“We recommend that care receivers add their health benefits card to their Uber wallet to see if their plan is currently eligible,” she said.

Donovan said additional capabilities  including ones for caregivers to order groceries, medical supplies and over-the-counter items on their loved one’s behalf or split payments between benefits and other personal payments  will roll out later this year. 

THE LARGER TREND

According to an AARP survey, more than 53 million Americans are caregivers, and many are juggling multiple responsibilities, such as caring for aging parents while working and raising children.

Caregiving includes tasks like medication management and scheduling appointments, which can lead to high levels of emotional stress.

AARP figures indicate that managing healthcare benefits and expenses adds to the burden, with caregivers spending an average of $7,000 annually out of pocket.

In January, Socially Determined, an analytics platform offering insights into social risk factors for various organizations, and Uber Health teamed up to enhance access to transportation, food and prescription delivery by utilizing social determinants of health analytics.

Uber Health expanded its offerings a year ago to include food delivery through its Uber Eats division and same-day prescription delivery through a partnership with ScriptDrop.

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