CMS Restrictions and Awards
February 1, 2023

Center of Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) updated their restrictions for Medicare rewards in 2021, with changes going into effect for contract year 2022. As 2023 begins and health plans continue to adjust to the revisions, we’re here to remind you that the allowable awards have changed … and include closed-loop (or branded) gift cards.

Let’s start with the restricted rewards. Rewards that are not acceptable include cash rewards, whether by check, raffle, or cash-like gift cards. Certain gift card brands from major online and big box retailers are also not allowed. However, many brands of closed-loop gift cards are allowed, and these cards can provide convenient options that plan members will be thrilled to receive.

If you’re ready to offer more reward options, InComm Healthcare can modify or create any program for you and your members. InComm already has restricted spend cards that exclude alcohol, tobacco, and firearm products, and our network includes several gift card brands from which plans can select and personalize. Let InComm help align your program with the new CMS standards.

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