Special Needs Plans Offer Benefits to Those Who Have Unique Health Conditions
There is a special type of Medicare Advantage plan available to beneficiaries who have certain chronic conditions or who are also enrolled in Medicaid or who are living in a nursing home or other long-term care situation. A “Special Needs Plan” (SNP) is either an HMO or PPO plan type and covers the same Medicare Part A and Part B benefits that all Medicare Advantage Plans cover. But in addition, a SNP might also cover extra services for those with unique health needs. To be eligible, you must already have Medicare and live in a SNP service area (these service areas can vary year to year). You may qualify for a SNP if 1) you are “dual eligible,” meaning you have both Medicare and Medicaid coverage; or 2) you have a chronic condition such as cancer, heart failure, dementia, diabetes, end-stage kidney or liver disease, and others; or 3) you live for at least 90 days straight in a nursing home, skilled nursing facility, rehab hospital, or similar facility. Note that details such as possible surcharges, need for a referral, whether you must stay within a doctor/hospital network, etc., can vary from one SNP to another, so it is important to research and confirm all this to see if a SNP matches your situation and preferences. Comprehensive details can be found at https://www.medicare.gov/health-drug-plans/health-plans/your-coverage-options/SNP.