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A dual health plan could help you buy healthy food at no cost.

Posted: October 15, 2020

Last Updated Date: April 02, 2021

Good food is important for good health. But eating healthy can be hard on a limited budget. Knowing this, UnitedHealthcare created a new health benefit called “healthy food.” Like the name says, the healthy food benefit helps people buy healthy food. It’s included with most UnitedHealthcare dual health plans for 2021.

Dual health plans are for people who qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare. Healthy food is one of many extra dual benefits you could get with a dual health plan. See all the other benefits dual health plans may offer.

The healthy food benefit helps members make their food dollars go farther.

The healthy food benefit is like having free food credit.

The healthy food benefit helps dual health plan members stretch their monthly food budget. On the first day of every month, eligible members get a set amount of credits loaded onto a prepaid debit card. They shop for groceries, then use their debit card to pay. Any qualifying purchases are automatically taken off the total by using credits. There’s no cost to members. So it really is like having free food credit.

Some dual health plans give members as much as $60 monthly. Just think of it as being like free food credit. Then you can see how the healthy food benefit can help people with low income make their food dollars go farther.

See how the UnitedHealthcare healthy food benefit works. Watch the video. 

Healthy Food Detailed Transcript

[UnitedHealthcare logo]

Hey! How would you like a little extra money to buy great food?

Did we have you at food?

Sure we did!

UnitedHealthcare wants to help you eat healthy, but sometimes we know that buying the best stuff can cost a lot of money.

That’s why we’re offering monthly credits to buy healthy food!

It’s all part of a UnitedHealthcare Dual Complete plan, a health plan for people who have Medicare and state assistance.

Here’s how it works.

Your healthy food credits are automatically loaded onto the prepaid debit card you receive, so you can start using your benefits right away!

It’s simple!

Your healthy food credits are available starting the first day of each month. Be sure to use them all because they expire on the last day of the month.

If you lose track of how much you have left at any given time, just check your balance online through your member website. That’s where you can also find participating retailers, both national chains and local stores. It’s easy!

Ok, let’s go shopping!

Just head to your favorite participating retailer on the list, fill your cart with the good stuff from our list of eligible foods and simply swipe your card at the register to use your benefit.

What’s the good stuff? Again, it’s pretty simple…fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, dairy products and more.

We even include special nutritional drinks like Ensure and Boost.

We also encourage you to stretch your health food credits as far as you can. If you see something that’s buy one, get one free, go for it!

Same with store coupons and special discount days – take advantage of all the offers you can to make the most of your budget! Don’t forget, your healthy food credits expire on the last day of the month.

The Healthy Food benefit. A great addition to a UnitedHealthcare Dual Complete plan, and a simple way to help you live a healthier life.

[Learn More.

Not a Member? Talk to a local agent to learn more or visit to explore your options.

Already a Member? Log in to your member website to:

  • Activate your card
  • Check your balance
  • See participating retailers in your area
  • View a list of eligible healthy foods
  • And more


  • ALL PLANS: Plans are insured through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or one of its affiliated companies, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract and a contract with the State Medicaid Program. Enrollment in the plan depends on the plan’s contract renewal with Medicare.  
  • NEW JERSEY: Plans are insured through UnitedHealthcare Dual Complete® ONE (HMO SNP), a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract and a contract with the State Medicaid Program. Enrollment in the plan depends on contract renewal.  Members must use network plan providers, pharmacies, and DME (Durable Medical Equipment) suppliers. Members will be enrolled into Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage under the plan and will be automatically disenrolled from any other Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.
  • MASSACHUSSETTS: UnitedHealthcare SCO is a Coordinated Care plan with a Medicare contract and a contract with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Medicaid program. Enrollment in the plan depends on the plan’s contract renewal with Medicare. This plan is a voluntary program that is available to anyone 65 and older who qualifies for MassHealth Standard and Original Medicare. If you have MassHealth Standard, but you do not qualify for Original Medicare, you may still be eligible to enroll in our MassHealth Senior Care Option plan and receive all of your MassHealth benefits through our SCO program.
  • TENNESSEE: Notice: TennCare is not responsible for payment for these benefits, except for appropriate cost sharing amounts. TennCare is not responsible for guaranteeing the availability or quality of these benefits. Any additional Medicare benefit mentioned in this communication above Original Medicare is applicable to the Medicare benefit only and does not indicate increased Medicaid benefits.
  • ARIZONA: Contract services are funded in part under contract with the State of Arizona.
  • FOOD BENEFIT SPECIFIC: Benefits, features and/or devices vary by plan/area. Limitations and exclusions apply.  Unused credits for the healthy food benefit will expire monthly.


What types of groceries can you buy?

Healthy food credits can be used to buy a wide range of groceries. Healthy food credits are also accepted at many stores, from small corner shops and neighborhood stores to large national retailers like Walgreens and Walmart.

Fill your basket with healthy food items.

With your healthy food credits, you could buy a wide range of approved groceries, like:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat and fish
  • Eggs, cheese, milk and other dairy products
  • Whole grains, nuts, seed and spreads
  • Plant-based fats/oils
  • Supplemental drinks like Boost® and Ensure®
  • And much more

Healthy food credits are in addition to credits to buy OTC health products.

You may have heard about credits to buy health products. That’s another popular dual benefit included with most dual health plans*. It allows members to buy hundreds of over-the-counter (OTC) health-related items at no cost. Healthy food credits are separate from health products credits. You’ll likely get both with a dual health plan from UnitedHealthcare. And added together, that’s likely worth quite a lot of money.

For details about the healthy food benefit or the OTC benefit included with your Dual Special Needs Plan, call the number or visit the website printed on the back of your healthy food debit card.

*NOTE: Benefits vary by plan and service area. Limitations and exclusions apply. 

See UnitedHealthcare plans in your area.

Please note: What dual-eligible plans you can get depends on where you live. To find a UnitedHealthcare Dual Complete® plan for you, please search plans in your state. 

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