SAN FRANCISCO – There will be a new type of benefit to look for – brain fitness exercises – in many Medicare Advantage (MA) plans for 2019, as the open enrollment period begins this week across the United States. Posit Science, the maker of the clinically-proven BrainHQ web and mobile brain training apps, announced that its brain exercises will be offered by select plans in 24 states in 2019.
“We are excited about making BrainHQ available to more than a million new people as a part of their health plan in 2019,” said Dr. Henry Mahncke, CEO of Posit Science. “Studies have now shown that BrainHQ not only improves standard measures of cognition, but transfers to everyday activities that are important to maintaining good health and quality of life.”
BrainHQ is unique in the field of brain exercises and games because of its proven effectiveness. Last year, experts from five Alzheimer’s institutes, writing in Neuropsychology Review, compared commercially-available brain training programs targeting older adults and found that most had no evidence of efficacy, and that only the exercises in BrainHQ were backed by multiple high-quality studies.
There are more than 150 peer-reviewed articles in science and medical journals describing benefits of BrainHQ exercises and assessments, including gains in standard measures of cognition (e.g., attention, speed, memory, decision-making), in standard measures of quality of life (e.g., mood, confidence, health-related quality of life), and in real-world activities (e.g., balance, gait, driving). Several studies have also shown that BrainHQ exercises result in better performance at Instrumental Activities of Daily Living – a standard measure of an older adult’s ability to continue to live independently.
Researchers from the government-funded ACTIVE Study, which has tracked 2800 older adults using three different kinds of brain training, found that the group using training now found exclusively in BrainHQ had significantly better standard measures of general health and self-rated health, as compared to the control group. ACTIVE researchers also found that such differences led to a significant reduction in overall predicted Medicare expenses.
During open enrollment, people can ask insurers about whether plans include BrainHQ as an included benefit, or at a discount. BrainHQ is being made available by select MA plans in 2019 in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.