In a significant expansion of its payment options, Instacart has announced plans to accept payments from Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and other supplement health benefit programs for grocery deliveries starting next year. This move builds upon the company’s recent acceptance of food stamps as a payment method, aimed at increasing accessibility to its services.
The initiative will be facilitated through a partnership with Alignment Health, enabling individuals covered by Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and other eligible health plans to utilize their plan-sponsored funds for the purchase of “eligible groceries, wellness essentials, and over-the-counter medications for delivery via Instacart.”
One of the primary objectives of this expansion is to address the issue of food insecurity among seniors, many of whom face challenges related to transportation and economic stability.
Sarah Mastrorocco, Vice President and General Manager of Instacart Health, expressed the significance of these new plans, stating, “The new plans will give participating seniors greater independence, convenience, and the dignity of choice to select the essentials they need to support their health from Instacart’s broad selection of retail partners.”
Instacart has been actively working to diversify its payment options, especially for those utilizing food stamps and other welfare programs. The company initiated a pilot program with grocery outlet Aldi three years ago, and earlier this year, it made the announcement that it would accept food stamps in all 50 states.
While most delivery platform apps have not traditionally accepted food stamps as a universal form of payment, there are signs of change in the industry. Uber Eats recently revealed its intention to start accepting food stamps as well.
With an estimated 31 million people enrolled in Medicare Advantage and 92 million on Medicaid, this expansion represents a significant step towards greater inclusivity and accessibility. Additionally, SNAP, the largest food assistance program in the U.S., provided monthly benefits to approximately 41.2 million individuals during the 2022 fiscal year, according to the Pew Research Center.